British companies prepare for long night to possible Brexit

LONDON - British companies are preparing for the possibility that the country will vote to leave the European Union with extra funds, pre-written statements and plans for late-night vigils by teams of consultants.

In the final week before Britain's June 23 referendum on EU membership, the prospect of a "Leave" vote has come into sharp focus, prompting a last-minute flurry of preparations in the corridors of "UK PLC".

Much of the focus is on communication -- how to assure customers, employees and investors that there will be near-term business continuity in the event of an "Out" vote. Britain would have two years to negotiate its exit, or "Brexit", from the 28-country bloc.

Treasury departments will also be working overtime because a vote for a Brexit would be expected to roil currency markets and have major consequences for trade, the economy and migration in Britain and elsewhere.

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