New research reveals 66% of SME decision makers would like to reverse the Brexit process if the possibility arose, restoring the relationship to its state from before the referendum took place, despite 33% saying that Brexit has had a positive impact on their business so far.
The data comes from the latest Citibase Business Confidence Index conducted by Atomik Research. The Business Confidence Index reflects the views of small businesses across a wide variety of sectors including marketing, PR, financial services, travel and recruitment. It revealed that 79% in London and 78% in the North East would like to reverse Brexit. Yet 55% in East/East Anglia and 50% in Yorkshire would not like to reverse Brexit.
However the research found that 35% believe that once Brexit has actually happened and Britain have left the EU, their business will be positively impacted. 31% believe there will be a negative impact. In fact there has been a increase in negative sentiment since Q, with 12% more concerned about what will happen.
But it’s not all negativity. Confidence in Jeremy Corbyn has increased by 14% from 12% to 16% in the last quarter. Interestingly there was the same level of confidence in PM Theresa May when examining who was best suited to lead the country through this turbulent change.
Despite the overwhelming wish to reverse the process 58% think that the government will negotiate a good deal with the EU for the UK’s SME.
60% predict it will take up one year for their business to adapt to the new rules and systems as a result of Brexit.
Among SMEs, the favour slightly swings towards a soft Brexit, over a hard Brexit. While 49% of SME decision makers surveyed want a soft Brexit, 45% want a hard Brexit. This has changed since Q1 when a soft Brexit was favoured by just 38% and 48% wanted a hard Brexit.
The biggest concerns going forward into the Brexit negotiations are the rising costs of raw materials and resources (32%), the value of sterling falling (16%) and a reduction in overseas trade (15%). A loss of investment (3%) and a decrease in sales (3%) are only a concern for the minority of SMEs according to the research.
The priorities that SME decision makers consider to be the most important for the government’s Brexit negotiations are negotiating strong trade deals (33%); controlling immigration (27%) and regaining control of laws (18%).