The prospect of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal is losing UK companies new orders from international clients as factory exports plunged in April, according to a survey.
UK manufacturers’ exports declined at the second-fastest rate in four and a half years last month, amid a slowdown in factory output, the figures from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply showed.
The rush in stockpiling activity over recent months in the run-up to the original 29 March Brexit deadline, now delayed until October, also began to fade, paving the way for weaker economic growth after the rush to build supplies of raw materials and finished goods at the start of the year.
In a sign of the damage to the UK’s reputation for stability, triggered by the political chaos in Westminster, the latest analysis suggests Brexit was the main reason for the slowdown, with fading demand from the EU, US and China. Weaker growth in the world economy also sapped orders from overseas clients.