Brexit not set to affect trade between British business owners and member nations
A survey carried out amongst British small business owners has revealed that the majority currently trading with European member nations will continue to do so after Brexit.
The Brexit campaign was fought on a variety of points relating to trade, but no argument was louder than a potential for better transatlantic and pacific trade agreements.
Pro-leavers battled to convince voters that an exit from the European Union would free up Britain’s capacity for intercontinental trade, despite Barack Obama’s claims that Brexit would put the UK at the “back of the queue”.
Following the vote, Obama’s successor Donald Trump has been much more accommodating of Brexit, claiming it will lead to “very big and exciting” trade opportunities. Currently, no trade agreements have been made, yet it remains one of the primary points of discussion in the Brexit conversation. But are the politicians wasting their time?
Accountancy and business advice firm Russell Smith Chartered Accountants ran a survey of local and regional business owners to gather their opinions on the future of British trade.
The survey revealed that 55% of British SMEs are currently working with EU partners or suppliers in some capacity. Of those businesses, 80% plan on maintaining their relationships following Brexit, even while facing the prospect of increased import and export tariffs.
Director of the company, Russell Smith said: “There was a lot of chatter about trade with the US, China, Japan, Canada and Australia in the run-up to Brexit, yet SMEs are much more focused on keeping their EU trade arrangements intact. What this survey demonstrates is a real disconnect from the campaigns of Brexit and the reality of our country’s economic position”.
The new results shed some light on the true feelings of small businesses in the UK, which make up 99.3% of all private sector companies operating Britain. Of the 20% that would look to change their trading relationships, 13% said they would move to domestic options, while only 7% would seek to take advantage of intercontinental trade deals.