Less than a third (29%) of those surveyed have made plans for exiting the EU despite the clock ticking and the negotiations having already begun.
Of those who have engaged on the issue, just 6% expect mainly positive outcomes while 40% predicted EU negotiations will have a negative impact on their business. Only 21% of them are willing to explore new markets.
ICAEW’s research revealed that 29% believe the free movement of goods, services, and capital between with the EU is essential to growth, while one fifth value access to a skilled workforce from the EU.
“With 20 months until departure, it is now the government’s responsibility to help pave the way for business success once we have exited the European Union,” said Michael Izza, ICAEW chief executive.
"Issues raised within our research – such as access to skilled EU workers and the free movement of goods and services - should be firmly placed on the prime minister’s radar when she engages in talks with the EU to ensure the priorities of business are fully considered and complacency is avoided.”
Last week, in an unprecedented move, Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office (NAO), said that the government’s Brexit plans could collapse "like a chocolate orange" because ministers are not unified and lack "flexibility".