MORE than half of businesses based in the South East believe they will worse off in the two years following Britain’s departure from the EU a survey has found.
Commissioned by Tunbridge Wells based law firm Cripps, the data comes from a survey of 150 senior decision makers in businesses throughout the region.
It was, however, compiled prior to Theresa May’s call for a snap election, which will take place on June 8.
In total, 54 per cent of respondents believe they will be worse off in two years’ time. But at the moment they remain upbeat, with 71 per cent saying the decision to leave the EU is yet to impact business investment and almost 78 per cent revealed that their hiring intentions are so far unaffected.
A third of respondents believed ‘continued free trade with European markets’ should be the most important issue when developing a strategy to leave the EU.
‘Securing trade agreements with countries outside the EU’ and ‘Taking control of our own regulations’ were each the priority for 12 per cent of respondents.
Looking to the three main places outside of Europe businesses believe Britain should focus on trading with once the country leave the EU, 30 per cent want the focus to be on securing trade deals with the US. This was followed by 29 per cent favouring the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and 28 per cent wanting to rebuild bridges with the Commonwealth.
Speaking on the findings, Gavin Tyler, Managing Partner, Cripps said: “The EU referendum polarised opinion and it would seem businesses in the South East also have contrasting views on the opportunities that Brexit presents. For some it equals opportunity and optimism whilst for others it continues to mean uncertainty and caution.
“As may be expected with the current uncertainty and murmurings from Brussels, 54 per cent of respondents believe they will be worse off in the two years following the UK’s departure from the EU. However, encouragingly, nearly 40 per cent are optimistic that ten years post Brexit their business will be in a better position than it is now.”