Bosses in the East foresee positives from Brexit, survey finds

File photo dated 17/02/16 of the EU and Union flags.

A new survey suggests bosses in the East of England foresee Brexit having positive impacts. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The majority of bosses in the East of England expect Brexit to have a positive impact over the next six months, new research has found.

According to a poll by business and financial advisers Grant Thornton, 60% of mid-market business leaders expect Brexit to have a positive impact on their business in the first half of next year.

The survey, which was conducted during the first two weeks of December, found that just 16% expect Brexit to have a negative impact on their business, while 20% foresee no impact in the next six months and 4% do not expect it to ever have an impact.

The survey also asked businesses about the impact of Covid-19.

Of respondents, 32% expected restrictions and a potential third lockdown to have a negative impact in the next six months, while 30% expected a positive impact.


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Commenting on the results Hazel Platt, tax partner at Grant Thornton, said: “It is unlikely that any business will be able to totally avoid the impact that Brexit — especially a ‘no deal’ scenario — will have.

Hazel Platt, tax partner at Grant Thornton

Hazel Platt, tax partner at Grant Thornton - Credit: Perry Hastings

"Whether it’s the consequences to the UK economy and the strength of the pound, or the impacts on the day-to-day aspects of doing business in a global market, the effects of Brexit will hit different businesses in different ways over different time frames.

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“While mid-market business leaders clearly feel that the end of the transition period will be a good thing, it is surprising to see that so many don’t believe there will be an immediate impact on their business.

"Our work with our mid-market clients, however, does suggest that while many businesses have successfully dealt with the unique challenges thrown at them over the last nine months, the uncertainty surrounding the short-term consequences of Brexit has resulted in the deferral of some activity until more clarity is available.

“All business leaders have spent 2020 fighting the more immediate threats presented by the global pandemic.

"We see from the data that the big definable problems, such as further restrictions in terms of workplace safety, travel restrictions, people productivity, and looming regulatory changes, are higher up the mid-market leader’s list of potential threats than Brexit.”


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