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UK Companies Are Frantically Preparing for a Messy Brexit

(Joe Mayes – Bloomberg)

David Keyte’s fashion brand, Universal Works, sells edgy menswear across the world.

The designer, based in Nottingham, England, counts the European Union as the biggest market for his stylish suede jackets, cardigans and double-pleated pants. Yet the prospect of a chaotic break between Britain and the EU prompted Keyte to shift parts of his distribution operations to Portugal to avoid any potential tariffs—costing jobs in the U.K.

“I’m five weeks away and I still have no idea what’s going to happen,” said Keyte, whose clothes are stocked in more than 150 outlets globally, from Austria to Taiwan. “It’s terrible.”

His experience is reflected across corporate Britain: with 35 days to go before the U.K. splits from its largest trading partner, the risk of a no-deal Brexit looms increasingly large. Prime Minister Theresa May is still struggling to wrest concessions from the bloc to help push her exit plan through parliament before the March 29 departure date. Click here to read more.