UK business struggling with Brexit preparedness: Poll Jul 14, 2020 0 608 12345 AFPLondonOnly a quarter of UK businesses are “fully ready” for the end of the Brexit transition period, with some blaming the coronavirus pandemic for delays in their preparations, a survey revealed Monday.“With so much going on, many directors feel that preparing for Brexit proper is like trying to hit a moving target,” said Jonathan Geldart, director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD) which carried out the survey. “Jumping immediately into whatever comes next would be a nightmare for many businesses.”Britain ended its EU membership on January 31 but agreed a transition period until the end of 2020 while it tries to negotiate a new trade deal with Brussels.The talks are moving slowly, sparking alarm among businesses that almost half a century of economic integration with the EU will end abruptly in a few months’ time.“Only a quarter of business leaders say their organisations are fully ready for the end of the Brexit transition period,” the IoD said.Of 978 company directors polled by the Institute in late June, almost half said they were unable to prepare, “with one in seven distracted by coronavirus”.Financial-sector businesses were most likely to be ready while manufacturers in particular had more to do, according to the IoD.“Directors in services felt especially unable to prepare at present, whether due to pressures of the pandemic or because they needed more clarity on changes,” it added.Britain on Sunday pledged £705 million ($890 million, 788 million euros) to prepare its borders for cutting ties with the European Union on December 31.“Unilateral actions like staggering import controls would be a welcome step from government, but are by no means enough,” Geldart said. “We need to mitigate disruption across many different sectors on both sides. “A phased implementation is in everyone’s interests, and direct financial support for smaller firms would be a huge boost at a difficult time,” he added. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Google to invest $10 billion in India Jul 14, 2020 0 627 Deep COVID-19 hit expected in Q2 earnings season Jul 14, 2020 0 617 Top US aide expects tough action on TikTok, WeChat Jul 14, 2020 0 612 Global stocks rise as US earnings season looms AFP London World stock markets advanced on Monday, helped by investor confidence in upcoming US quarterly earnings and the business outlook, and by hopes for progress towards a coronavirus vaccine, dealers said. A .. Coronavirus pandemic batters tourism in picturesque Tbilisi AFP Tbilisi Spring has arrived in Tbilisi but its picturesque old town -- a whimsical mixture of Art Nouveau buildings and mediaeval churches -- is gloomy. Cafes are deserted and restaurants closed, and just a few people .. Lebanese struggle with hardship as currency nosedives dpa Beirut “Lebanon is finished!” shouted a woman inside a Beirut supermarket, visibly shocked by the prices of goods, which have soared due to the continued devaluation of the local pound. “We cannot continue like ..