Business leaders have heaped pressure on the government to agree a last-minute Brexit trade deal after a survey showed that more than three-quarters backed an agreement with Brussels.
The CBI warned ministers that only 4% of company bosses from a survey of 648 said they supported a no deal Brexit, while 77% said they wanted a deal.
Businesses reported that the pace of decline in parts of industry had eased, but half of respondents said the impact of dealing with Covid-19 had negatively affected preparations for Brexit.
The study showed that private sector activity fell in the quarter to September, but at a slower pace, adding to concerns from the British Chambers of Commerce and Make UK, which represents manufacturers, that the recovery has stalled across much of the economy.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI