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Brexit and business: Should we be in or out?

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In the business world conflicting opinions remain, with both the Financial Times and the Telegraph recently reporting that more and more businesses are supporting the Brexit campaign, and Reuters revealing just last week that investment in UK business has already fallen as we countdown to the decision.

So, with that said, should businesses be backing Brexit or not?

The benefits of Brexit

Many business representatives think that leaving the EU would dramatically reduce the cost of business, for example:

In 2015, Britain paid a massive £13bn to the EU – which means an exit could result in a reduction in taxes, therefore benefitting businesses. However to put it into perspective, the UK also received £4.5bn in spending, which means it contributed £8.5bn –  representative of a small percentage of what is spent annually on the NHS. 

Certain EU regulations have been seen to burden British businesses, which means some representatives feel that leaving could lift a lot of red tape and make certain processes a lot easier to implement. 

Some industry representatives believe that the EU is holding our economy back – with a recent report suggesting that initiating our own trade negotiations would be better as opposed to comprising with the “general interests of 27 other nations”.

Read more about the Brexit debate:

Brexit – the drawbacks:

However, from a business perspective there are many many negatives to backing Brexit and thus, many positives to supporting the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, with the following key for consideration:

Currently the UK benefits from free trade agreements with both EU and non-EU countries. If the UK left the EU it would need to renegotiate its own terms, which may not work in our favour.

Businesses benefit from the EU free trade agreement, providing the opportunity for growth overseas, and access to a vast marketplace of 500m customers. If the UK left the EU, it would increase both the complexity and cost of trading overseas. 

Economic professionals have advised that Brexit would cause economic shock and growth would be slower – obvious when you think there will be less trade, less investment and less confidence. 

According to stats over 3m UK jobs are linked to Britain’s trade with the EU, which means leaving would have a detrimental effect on many UK citizens, dramatically reducing job security. 

As the director of a UK based business that I am very much looking to expand overseas, I strongly believe that British businesses will benefit far more in being part of the EU – particularly when you take into account that the EU provides easy access to a massive percentage of the World’s marketplace. 

Mark Wright is director is Climb Online.

On Thursday 23 June, the UK will vote on whether it wishes to remain in the EU. Karen Bexley, head of employment law at MLP Law, takes a look at the Brexit debate and gives comment on some of the potential changes to employment law following the referendum.

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