Lord Wolfson, CEO of Next, predicts improved UK prospects

The chief executive of British high-street retailer Next has said that he believes the UK is ‘rapidly moving’ towards a state of well-preparedness for an October no-deal Brexit.

Wolfson had previously warned that no deal would lead to “chaos and disorder”, but has since revised his outlook based on an assessment of recent preparations by the UK government.

“We are a long way from gridlock and chaos; the fact that HMRC have introduced these transition measures will make an enormous difference,” he said. “The encouraging thing is that we are rapidly moving from the gridlock and chaos camp into the well-prepared camp.”

“I am much less frightened of no deal if the government is well prepared, and we’ve got every indication that they are now taking that seriously.”

Five to Midnight

Despite Wolfson’s confidence in preparations, he notes that  a deal would still be his preferred option.

 “I should stress that I would much prefer a deal to no deal,” he said, adding “In the vast majority of deals I’ve done, if the deadline is midnight, the deal gets done at 11:55, but we need to have nerves of steel and prepare ourselves for either outcome.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s independent forecasting body, has warned that a no-deal Brexit would plunge Britain into a recession. The Bank of England has said it could cause a material shock to the UK economy as well as disruption for EU companies.