It has been an interesting few weeks in politics. In the aftermath of the recent general election, businesses are left with uncertainty about the future direction of the UK economy in addition to the uncertainty over Brexit.
According to a snap poll from the Institute of Directors (IoD), the 700 members surveyed had experienced a “dramatic drop” in confidence following the result, with many adding that they didn’t expect confidence to improve soon.
Although some parts of the media are talking of a further general election, businesses are not keen for this; 69% of the IoD’s respondents had “no desire” to see a second election this year, especially as Brexit negotiations have now started. As the Conservatives have reached an agreement with the DUP, another election seems unlikely, but political uncertainty in the wake of the result will have consequences for the economy.
The IoD’s respondents want a rapid agreement with the EU and clarity on the status of EU workers, trade agreements and tariffs. The results of a separate survey from the Harvard Kennedy School of Business found that a majority of the 50 medium sized businesses it surveyed expressed a preference for remaining in a single market and customs union.
Other polls indicate that businesses expect not only that the single market will remain but that many businesses believe that there will be no change to the existing rules regarding freedom of movement. Now that the negotiations over the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU have begun, the negotiators have agreed that the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK will be dealt with first. It is difficult to see how this will be agreed without the question of other workers’ rights being resolved at the same time.
If you run a business and you would like advice relating to Brexit, how to plan for the future or how changes to employment and/or immigration could affect you, then contact the team at DHM Stallard to see how we can help.