SME confidence in UK government’s ability to negotiate Brexit is diminishing

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British small businesses surveyed recently by Citibase note that they are less confident in the ability of the UK government to negotiate a deal that’s good for small firms. In a survey of 1100 SMEs last month, only 35% expressed confidence in the government’s negotiation approach and expected a positive result for them after Brexit.

Specific concerns include the political and economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and also dissatisfaction about May’s minority government. And expectations are diminishing. They say that 21% of SMEs surveyed cite Brexit as having a negative revenue impact. This is up from 17% in the first quarter of 2017.

The Citibase CEO Steve Jude says: “These results are a wake-up call for the Government. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy and it is essential to rebuild their confidence in the future for UK business.‘We have entered a new era where a nimble approach is vital for SMEs who want to succeed. Our exclusive survey shows how turmoil has given rise to a flight to flexibility by business owners. There is a real opportunity to thrive in the chaos of this new world order. Smart building owners will recognise this, and will look to providers like Citibase, who have been pioneers of the flexible officing sector for nearly a quarter of a century, to revitalise their under-utilised office buildings and obtain a steady cash flow from their assets.”

How do you react to these findings? Certainly there are questions of what a Brexit deal will look like. In the short term there are worries about currency weakness in sterling and the free movement of goods. But have you changed your mind in the year and a bit since the referendum on 23rd June 2016? Did you vote one way and now think the opposite result would be a good thing?

It looks like there will be greater certainty regarding the transition deal will emerge over the course of the autumn and that sounds like a good thing for business confidence. What do you want to see?


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