UK SMEs expect not to get what they want from Brexit process

Published:  07 May, 2019

UK SME business owners have voiced their concern that what they want and what they are going to get from the Brexit process is going to be very different, according to the latest data from Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The survey of 900 firms conducted in April 2019 shows that while four in 10 respondents want the UK to leave the EU, only 27% think it will actually happen; a further 27% want the UK to remain in the EU while just 12% think this will be the eventual outcome (see table, below, for full results).

There is the least appetite for a long extension to Article 50 although close to a quarter are convinced this is the most likely result.

“The results are consistent across region, sector and company size,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance. “What this tells us is that they aren’t, for example, confined to a specific area and skewing the overall results.

“There is a clear disconnect between what business owners want for their firm and what they think they will eventually get, which is not surprising given the number of options still on the table. Business owners are saying that the likely outcome of the least palatable option - a long extension to Article 50 – is continued uncertainty.”

With regards to the Brexit process, what do you want to happen and what do you think will happen?



The UK should just leave the EU (with no withdrawal agreement) / The UK will leave the EU (with no withdrawal agreement)



The UK should leave the EU with a withdrawal agreement that puts us outside of the Customs Union



The UK should leave the EU with a withdrawal agreement that leaves us inside of the Customs Union



There should be a long extension to Article 50 (to at least the end of 2019 if not longer) to allow for further negotiation



The UK should remain a full member of the EU



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