Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any EU member state the right to quit unilaterally, and outlines the procedure for doing so. It gives the leaving country two years to negotiate and it can't be stopped except by unanimous consent of all member states.

Maritime UK, whose members facilitate 95% of UK trade, is calling on all parties to get behind the Prime Minister’s Chequers accord, and for the European Union in turn to show pragmatism...With half of business leaders questioned having not made preparations for a no deal, Maritime UK believes there is not enough time to prepare for crashing out of the EU.

Of the 507 business leaders polled, more than half (58%) supported the agreement reached by the Cabinet at the recent Chequers summit, which includes a new UK-EU ‘free trade area’ and a commitment to replacing the free movement of people with a ‘mobility framework’.

The survey found that the major no-deal concerns for business leaders are increased costs and supply chain disruption, including delays at ports.

Welcoming the survey’s publication, David Dingle, Chairman of Maritime UK, said:

We cannot accept that no deal is better than any deal. A worrying number of business leaders from all sectors and parts of the country now believe a ‘no deal’ is the most likely outcome. If we fail to agree a deal by October, it is in the interest of both the UK and EU to extend the Article 50 process. Failing to secure a deal will mean delays and disruption at ports like Dover, Holyhead and Portsmouth, but equally at EU ports including Zeebrugge, Calais and Dublin. We urge both sides to recognise an agreement is in everyone’s interest, and to be pragmatic so that a deal may be agreed quickly.

Explore more from the survey herebelow: