A recent survey has revealed just how the self-employed feel about Brexit when it comes down to how it will impact their business.
Surveying more than 660 contractors between 3rd-17thDecember last year, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) found that as many as 64% believe that a ‘no deal’ would negatively impact their business. This is only slightly higher than the 60% of respondents who believe their businesses will take a hit if the Prime Minister’s current withdrawal agreement goes ahead.
When asked about the main priority for their businesses in negotiating Britain’s future relationship with the European Union, contractors listed:
- ensuring UK businesses have access to the Single Market for services (39% of respondents);
- ensuring free movement of UK citizens across EU (22%);
- ensuring UK businesses have access to the Single Market for goods (10%);
- restricting immigration from EU nations (6%).
IPSE’s Deputy Policy Director, Andy Chamberlain, commented, “The proportion of freelancers worried that Brexit will negatively impact their business has increased significantly over the past 12 months.
“This is alarming, because now more than ever the UK needs the flexibility freelancers bring to the economy.
“The UK’s 4.8 million self-employed are the country’s smallest and most agile businesses, and they will be crucial to any post-Brexit growth strategy.
“Freelancers are caught between a rock and a hard place on Brexit.
“They are clearly worried by the prospect of a ‘no deal’, however they also feel the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement will freeze them out of future opportunities.
“This is because they fear large companies, who are important clients for them, may relocate their operations because of Brexit. Freelancers may also find it harder to access contracts in the EU.
“Like everyone else, the self-employed are also worried that their living costs could increase, putting pressure on their finances.
“Freelancers do not have a benign impact on the economy. In fact, they generate more than £271 billion of economic activity each year.
“Their contributions must be valued and recognised.”
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