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British companies buckle up as Brexit deadline nears

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British companies buckle up as Brexit deadline nears
FILE PHOTO A general view of the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs   -   Copyright  KEVIN COOMBS(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces two pivotal votes in parliament on Tuesday that will decide if he can deliver on his pledge to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union in nine days time.

Three years after Britons voted to leave the EU, companies are surveying their contingency plans as the reality of the split finally happening looms and with it the risk of delays at ports, supply chain disruptions or labour shortages.

The following are the latest comments from British companies striving to deal with the fallout of the process.

Bellway Plc

The housebuilder said it had been in close contact with its supply chain partners over the last year to reduce any risks to its business.

Domino’s Pizza Group Plc

Britain’s biggest pizza delivery company said it has four to eight weeks worth of inventory of ambient and frozen food products.

Marston’s Plc

The pub group, which imports a significant amount of food and some beers, wines and spirits from Europe, said it was prepared for a potentially chaotic Brexit and that it had implemented contingency plans to ensure a smooth Christmas trading period, including identifying potential suppliers from outside Europe.

Secure Trust Bank Plc

The lender said consumers and businesses were more cautious in taking loans ahead of the planned Oct. 31 deadline for Brexit, with the company recording slower demand in September.

Travis Perkins Plc

The owner of Wickes and Toolstation put on hold its plan to sell its plumbing and heating unit, citing “unprecedented” market uncertainty.

WH Smith Plc

The retailer said it was prepared for Brexit and has put in place contingency plans to manage the impact, including increasing its stock of convenience products.

Whitbread Plc

The hotel chain owner reported a lower first-half pretax profit, as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit kept companies from spending on business travel in the United Kingdom.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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