For more than two years, the clock ran down towards March 29, the day Prime Minister Theresa May pledged Britain would leave the EU. As the drama rolls on, the costs mount from the Brexit day that wasn't. May's deferral of the departure to at least April 12 came too late for companies that spent months assuming the crunch would arrive as scheduled. If London and Brussels delay further to avoid a chaotic no-deal split, some of the preparations could turn out to have been for naught. Big businesses such as HSBC and GlaxoSmithKline are spending tens of millions of pounds on Brexit, but smaller companies are feeling the pinch too. Plastribution, a plastics wholesaler near Leicester, England, stockpiled inventory before March 29 and will now have to spend thousands of additional pounds on warehouse space as uncertainty over the departure date drags on. "It really felt like it was a clear deadline, a line in the sand," said Mike Boswell, the company's managing director, adding that logist...

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