Small businesses still split over whether Brexit will be a success

One year on from the EU referendum, Britain’s small businesses are still split over whether Brexit will be a positive or a negative for them, according to a new survey.

A new report from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) found that 22 per cent of SMEs believe Brexit has been positive for their businesses so far, while 18 per cent believe that the reaction to date has been mostly negative.

Looking at the bigger picture, 40 per cent of those questioned said that they are optimistic that Brexit will ultimately be a success, while 36 per cent are more pessimistic.

In fact, seven per cent of those who voted remain said they would vote leave if there was another referendum now, while only three per cent of leave voters would now vote remain.

However, 28 per cent believe no current political leader will act in their businesses’ interests as the UK enters vital Brexit negotiations with EU leaders.

Prime minister Theresa May topped the poll with the backing of just 26 per cent of SME leaders, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn just behind at 23 per cent.

“Brexit clearly remains a divisive issue throughout the UK, with small business owners sharing with us how they view the upcoming EU withdrawal as both an opportunity and a concern, in almost equal measure,” said Adam Harper, director of strategy and professional standards at the AAT, commenting on the findings.

“With talks over our exit strategy now underway, we can only hope that Britain’s future business successes with our partners inside and outside of the European Union are at the forefront of our political leaders’ minds.

“Issues including our businesses’ ability to trade, the potential impact of new regulations and policies, and supply of skilled workers will all need to be strongly considered, while small businesses will need advice and support as to what Brexit will mean for their company.”

For more from the study, see the AAT’s website.

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