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[LONDON] Some British companies are planning to freeze recruitment and are considering moving operations outside the UK following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, according to a survey by a business group.
An Institute of Directors poll of 1,092 UK business leaders found 24 per cent of respondents plan to pause hiring plans, while 5 per cent of companies surveyed said they will cut jobs. Sixty-four per cent of respondents said the result is negative for business, compared with 23 per cent who said it is positive.
"We can't sugar-coat this. Many of our members are feeling anxious," Simon Walker, director-general of the institute, said by e-mail. "A majority of business leaders think the vote for Brexit is bad for them."
Dismay among business leaders over last week's vote extended beyond the UK. The result of the referendum on Britain's EU membership has also prompted political uncertainty and a sell-off of the pound.
Among companies surveyed by the institute, 22 per cent said they are considering moving some of their operations outside the UK. Almost three-quarters of respondents said their top priority is for policy makers to protect the British economy from the turmoil in financial markets.
The survey was begun Friday, the day after the referendum, and released Monday.
For more coverage of the EU referendum, visit bt.sg/BrexiT