Businesses worry

Many small businesses worry social distancing will kill them: Survey

Earlier last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “these are decisive days” in the process, but she could not say whether there would definitely be a deal. The message in London since then has been more positive.

David Frost, the U.K.’s chief negotiator, said Friday that “it is late, but a deal is still possible.”

A European official, who didn’t want to be named due to the sensitive nature of the talks, told CNBC over the weekend that a breakthrough is dependent on a phone call between U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and von der Leyen.

However, there aren’t yet any plans for a call between the two.

In the meantime, businesses on both sides wait for an end to the process. The British Chambers of Commerce, a trade body for businesses, warned in late September of “major gaps” in government guidance for firms if no deal is reached.

As a member of the EU for more than 40 years, many U.K. exporters rely on raw materials or clients based in Europe and vice-versa.

Carmakers are reportedly stockpiling cars and parts to avoid being hit with tariffs in case the U.K. and the EU do not reach an agreement. Brands such as Volkswagen and Honda have large manufacturing plants in the U.K. and then export them to the rest of the EU.

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