The great debate of Britain’s potential exit from the European Union has been the driving cause for concern for many citizens and business alike. With the referendum on whether we should stay set to be held on June 23rd this year, the question remains – what will happen to small businesses if we leave?
Whether you’re in or out, it’s important to understand what will be the benefits and disadvantages are when making such a crucial decision. In this post, we've avoided the hysteria and set about highlighting a few of the key pros and cons of Brexit, what this could mean for small businesses, and the risks and advantages on a wider scale.
What British SMEs have to say
Mark Lamb, Moore Stephens, partner said: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned that future growth will be disproportionately hit by a UK exit as they would no longer compete on a level playing field in the EU.
However, a recent Telegraph article explains that more than 200 small firm owners have signed an open letter
An obvious battle between large and small companies has emerged, with larger companies generally on the ‘in’ side of the referendum, and small businesses generally on the ‘out’.
The letter says: “Recently much has been made of the support given
“But little attention, as ever, has been given to the stance of SME’s in this debate. SME’s are the incubators for tomorrow’s success stories.
“Our businesses thrive because we instinctively understand that flexibility and adaptability are key to our long-term success. We employ the majority of the UK’s workforce.
Jita, a year-old tech start-up in Islington, is wholly in
“If you want to create a startup, you do not want the uncertainty. It’s very messy. Other countries will not look forward to making new deals with the UK.” He continued.
A business owner of a 7-day spa, Rochana Palasat, is also keen for the UK to remain in the EU. She said: “The EU offers good protection for businesses. Without it, things might be more difficult.”
On the other hand, some small businesses see Brexit as an advantage. Richard Gerwirtz, owner of a small antique shop claimed: “I’m leaning towards leave. As a small business it would probably help me – from a selfish perspective, my
Others state Brexit is crucial to limit immigration and spending, Benyosef Shelemy is the owner of a Discount Jewelers, he is 77 years old and moved from Israel when he was 17: “I’ve been here 57 years. I’ve never got one pound from the government. But you get someone from abroad, they give them a house worth £2.5m. The government gives them everything. They come here because they get everything.”
The EU is a single market where no tariffs are imposed between member states on imports and exports. We currently benefit from trade deals between the EU and other world powers, something that may not be available to us if we leave.
Millions of jobs
Britain risks losing its negotiating power
There may be potential to follow Norway’s lead and have access to the single market, while not being bound by EU laws
Under EU law, Britain cannot prevent anyone from another member state
It has also been stated that because of EU law, this has opened the doors to an abundance of lower-skilled workers. Leaving the EU has been deemed as necessary to help regain control of our borders.
Some estimate the cost of having EU membership is around 11% of our GDP. That equates to around the £200 billion mark.
Many hold the belief that by leaving the EU, this money can be freed up to invest in new British industries and scientific research.
For small businesses, whether you’re for or against, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Unfortunately, many arguments are simply speculation, as a
So if you’re a small business owner, let us know where you stand!