3 in 5 business leaders prioritise trade for Brexit negotiations
· Brexit: “Trade” trumps “People” as UK business priority
· Uncertain economic environment troubles entrepreneurs
· Government “undercooked” to represent business
MarketInvoice, the business finance company, conducted a wide ranging survey1 of UK businesses, seeking their views on Brexit, the role of Government and finance.
The top priority (58%) for UK business leaders as part of the Brexit negotiations is to have the right trade arrangements with the EU to ensure a stable trading environment. This is three times more important than having access to EU workers, with only 18% raising this as a priority. Meanwhile, only 7% prioritised the stability of sterling.
The current uncertain economic environment is what’s keeping more than half (53%) of UK business leaders awake at night. They are less worried about the stability of the Government (15%), foreign worker rights (8%) or a weak sterling (1%).
More business leaders (85%) now believe that the Government is tuned into the voice of business since March 2017, when Article 50 was triggered. However, they are not confident or convinced that the negotiating team will defend the interests of business. A quarter (27%) feel they’ve lost their way and will be in for a shock and a further quarter (27%) feel they lack preparedness for the negotiations. Only 5% feel that David Davis is doing a great job.
Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice
commented: “Business leaders are clearly focussed on ensuring they are prepared to do business before worrying about people issues. Anecdotal feedback from this survey is that businesses in the UK are getting on with it but are clearly unsettled which doesn’t make for a healthy business environment”
“The good news is that businesses, finally, feel that their voices are being heard by Government but are not inspired with confidence with the negotiating efforts. Could the adoption of the business council at Downing Street make a difference?”
The majority (54%) of businesses reported that their hiring plans have been largely unaffected this year and it is business as usual. Only 2% are now proactively reducing their exposure to EU-nationals in the coming months while more (6%) are now reluctant to hire EU nationals.
More than a third (38%) of businesses feel they will face a cash squeeze going into the next 6 months. The majority would turn to invoice finance (35%) then bank overdrafts (30%) for additional funding whilst only 6% would use a personal credit card.
added: “While hiring concerns are relatively stable for business, they need to be focussed on managing their working capital needs in H2 2017. The research shows that a third (34%) will forfeit expansion plans, a further third (33%) will forgo launching new products and a fifth (20%) will reduce marketing spend. These are things that will impact the wider economy and could make for tough decisions for business leaders”.
1 Results are from a MarketInvoice survey of 3,874 UK businesses during June and July 2017. Respondents were manager, director and C-level post holders. The survey was conducted online and by e-mail.
Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.