Middle-market companies across the south remain positive about the impact of Brexit on their businesses according to the latest YouGov survey commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.
RSM’s quarterly Brexit Monitor Index, in which any reading above 100 (on a scale of 0-200) indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic, showed that sentiment among regional businesses about the impact of Brexit on their business over a five-year period remained static at 116. In England, only the Yorkshire and North East region registered a higher score at 118.
Respondents in the South were also positive about the wider economic impact over the same period, with an index score of 107.
The national survey of more than 300 UK leaders of mid-market companies also revealed that respondents were quite bullish about the prospects of a good Brexit deal. In total, 45% of those surveyed said they were confident that the Government could achieve a good deal. This was more than double the 21% who said they were not confident of a good deal.
60% of respondents said that access to the single market, either through a new trade deal or continued membership, should be a negotiation priority for the UK government. Securing the rights of EU citizens in the UK was the second most important consideration at 27%.
The technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector stood out as the most consistently upbeat sector in terms of the likely impact of Brexit on their industry’s prospects over the next five years, registering an index score of 133.
Conversely, the consumer business sector saw the most challenging conditions ahead for their industry, with an index score of just 94.
Elfed Jarvis, RSM’s regional managing partner for the southern region said: “Despite the political infighting and the stalled EU negotiations, businesses across our region remain positive about the long-term impact of Brexit on their businesses. Nationally, middle market businesses are also relatively confident about the Government’s ability to deliver a good deal.
“There are clearly many unanswered questions regarding our future trading relationships with the EU and other global markets. However, the results of our latest survey suggest that businesses are taking a pragmatic view of what could lie ahead and are taking steps to adapt and emerge stronger post-Brexit.”
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