SMEs still split on Brexit

With just days to go before the EU referendum, SMEs are still divided on the matter.

Despite a recent surge in support for Vote Leave, 46% of SMEs say it would be best for business to leave the EU, compared to 54% who think we should remain.

These figures come from research by TNS, which also found that nearly one in five business owners (17%) said they had changed their personal opinion in the last three weeks.

For Vote Leave, most SMEs said that Boris Johnson had played the biggest role, ahead of Nigel Farage, Michael Gove or any mainstream organisations.

When looking at what or who is influencing decisions, the Stronger in Europe supporters are most convinced by the IMF and Bank of England.

Despite the heavy media reporting on Brexit in the last few months, most business owners said there had been just the right amount of coverage on Brexit to keep the public informed.

However, 45% felt there has been a bias towards Remain, compared to 16% who said there was a bias towards Leave.

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

TNS UK managing director of financial services and technology Amy Cashman commented: “The fact that major economic powerhouses like the IMF and Bank of England are holding the most sway for the Remain camp suggests that for SMEs, the ‘head over heart’ approach may push things in favour of staying in the EU.

“We saw a similar thing happen with the Scottish referendum last year where despite the late surge for the Leave Camp, the majority of business owners and entrepreneurs chose to stick with the less risky option of what they already knew.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024