SMEs in the South East look to post-Brexit opportunities, but concerns over systems remain

Summary of PwC research findings in London & the South East

  • 26% have the necessary management information to assess and plan for the impact of Brexit
  • Over half (54%) do not have a clear plan to drive growth in light of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union
  • 72% think the Government should prioritise negotiating single market access
  • Over three quarters (77%) think Germany should be the priority EU member for new trade agreements
  • Just over half (52%) will continue with planned capital investment in the next 12 months
  • 30% plan to continue to hire staff to support their growth, but a fifth (20%) have put plans on hold

Agreeing access to the EU Single Market and negotiating trade deals with non-EU countries should be the Government’s main priorities as it negotiates the UK’s exit from the European Union. That’s according to a post-referendum survey of SMEs, conducted for PwC’s My Financepartner (MFp).

The online survey of a representative sample of 566 SMEs from across Britain (including 100 businesses from the South East) says trade deals and market access are more important than immigration targets, or environmental legislation and emission targets. Two thirds (66%) of firms say Westminster should focus on agreeing continued access to the single market, while 62% also want trade deals to provide access to non-EU markets.

Some 41% of UK companies expect Brexit to increase their cost-base, while only 25% expect their prices to increase. However, SMEs in the South East have more confidence than those across the UK, 44% expect that their costs will remain the same and 63% expect that their prices will remain unchanged.

Other news