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UK's SMEs fear Brexit will break up the UK

A significant portion of small business owners in the UK believe Brexit results will lead to the break-up of the UK, according to a new survey by Close Brothers. Its Business Barometer says 38 per cent of UK's SME owners feel this way. More than half of them in Scotland (51 per cent) and Greater London (52 per cent) believe Brexit will lead to the break-up of the union, while East Anglia was most optimistic – with only 21 per cent saying 'yes' to the question. 

“The UK’s decision to leave the EU has made business owners confront a number of issues that perhaps they did not actively consider before,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance. 

“Over 60 per cent of those surveyed feel that the union will survive intact, but there are, as one would expect, strong regional variations.” 

Splitting the results industry-wise, the report says that engineering seems to be most pessimistic, with 44 per cent of answers being positive. Engineering is followed by print with 43 per cent, transport with 40 per cent, and manufacturing with 39 per cent. Among construction companies, 33 per cent believe Brexit will tear up the UK.  

On June 23, 2016, citizens of the UK voted for their country to leave the European Union. The vote polarized the country, with a majority in England and Wales voting to leave, while the majority in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. Some estimates are saying it will take the UK approximately two years to complete the process.

Image Credit: D Smith / Flickr