No deal Brexit presents a fork in the road for businesses - are they prepared to shift gear?

  • Video report by ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills

With or without a deal, Boris Johnson says the government will be ready to leave the EU on October 31 - but are businesses as prepared as the prime minister claims to be?

Norton Motorcycles in Castle Donington believes it has made all the necessary plans and despite having originally backed remain, the company has embraced Brexit.

Norton's chief executive says he is well-prepared for a disorderly departure from the European Union and insists Mr Johnson is right to threaten a no deal exit.

"It's inevitable that there might be some short term fall out, but what we have to stop and think is 'the majority of Britain wanted to go this way'," Stuart Garner told ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills.

Norton Motorcycles CEO Stuart Garner told Joel Hills his company is well prepared for no deal. Credit: ITV News

He added: "If you're going to bluff, you have to be prepared to go through with it."

The Bank of England claims around 90% of British businesses have already made some sort of no deal preparations however many say no amount of planning will mitigate the potential drop in profits.

The new chancellor, Sajid Javid, is expected to announce on Thursday more than £1 billion to turbo-charge no deal preparations but many businesses are still preparing to lay off staff.

The chancellor is expected to announce at least a further £1 billion to turbo-charge no deal preparations. Credit: ITV News

Car makers in the UK revealed on Wednesday that £330 million has been spent preparing for no deal, but claim it still presents an existential threat.

One car part manufacturer in Loughborough says it is doing what it can but claims throwing money at the problem will not solve it.

"I don't think it's really possible to prepare for no deal," Greg McDonald, the chief executive of Goodfish Group told ITV News.

"The idea that £100 million of marketing is somehow going to resolve something or that £300 million splashed here or billions there, it's just not how you resolve a problem of shooting yourselves in the foot."

But that is what the government appears to be doing: Turbo-charging preparations for no deal by spending cash, with the hope of pushing the EU into agreeing a deal.

As ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston described the stand off between the EU and the UK, "irresistible force meets immovable object".