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01 July 2016

Post Brexit vote - what FSB is doing to help smaller businesses

This time last week, the results of the EU Referendum were made clear and the Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would step down in September. As the week progressed, we saw further statements from First Minster Nicola Sturgeon on Scottish Independence, resignations including UK commissioner Jonathon Hill, market instability and the pound reaching a low against the dollar that hasn’t been seen since 1985. That said, there has been some recovery, both on the currency front and on the FTSE. 

It’s been a week of political turmoil, but as small business owners they are used to dealing with difficult times. Small businesses are the back bone of the UK economy. Together, they account for 99 per cent of UK business, have a combined annual turnover of £1.8 trillion and hire 60 per cent of all private sector employees. Smaller businesses are the driving force of the UK Economy and it is crucial that you are protected during this unstable time. That’s the message we are bringing right to the heart of government as FSB fights for small business.

What is FSB doing to help smaller businesses?

  • As soon as the EU Referendum results were clear, FSB called on the Government and the Bank of England to provide economic stability, for small firms to get the confidence to continue to drive economic growth and create jobs.
  • We have outlined a small business agenda for the EU negotiations and will develop this further over the coming months and during the EU negotiations.  These include
    1. Access to the single market
    2. Freedom of movement
    3. Future of EU funded scheme
    4. Clarity on the future regulatory framework. 
  • We have already started work with Government on our small business agenda, attending Business Secretary Sajid Javid business summit with other UK Business groups. We have also written formally to Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin MP. Mr Letwin has been appointed by the Prime Minister to lead the UK’s dialogue with the EU along with Mr Javid, Chancellor George Osbourne and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
  • The Government’s work in many ways has been paused for the referendum, and we are now pressing Government to deliver the domestic policy decisions we need – not least on infrastructure projects like airports expansion, HS2, and Broadband.
  • In Scotland, FSB met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to reinforce the views of smaller firms. They have also met with civil servants and agency officials and made the case for extra support and guidance for firms.
  • In Wales, FSB met with the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure to reinforce the need for leadership and confidence, as well as assurances on the longer-term future of business support and training support.
  • In Northern Ireland, FSB have spoken with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP. They raised concerns concerns including the need to avoid the return of a 'hard border' between Northern Ireland and the Republic and also the need to resist any form of inhibiting extra checks at ports or airports between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. 
  • We are working with our sister organisation in Gibraltar to ensure their specific concerns are addressed, such as the border issue and EU funding.

FSB will continue to be a constructive partner in these negotiations and push for swift clarity on these crucial questions. We will seek to ensure that the confidence of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses, which is already at its lowest level since 2013, does not fall any further.

See how FSB have campaigned on this issue

Lobbying & Campaigning from FSB

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