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19 October 2018

Weekly Brief 42 - Friday 19 October 2018

Failure to secure Brexit deal leaves small businesses on the brink

UK small businesses are voicing their disappointment in the UK Government and EU's inability to secure a Brexit deal, calling it a political failure that risks causing significant damage to the sector. With only 23 weeks left before the UK leaves the EU, the FSB is warning that the current stalemate is only increasing uncertainty and the likelihood of a no deal Brexit. This was widely covered including in The Times

Nominations for FSB volunteering opportunities closing soon

FSB online nominations have opened for both local and national volunteering opportunities. In a move towards greater democracy, FSB is holding both the nomination and voting processes online. You have just a few days left to make nominations - the window to do so closes on this Sunday 21 October.

Making Tax Digital pilot open for business

From April 2019, VAT-registered businesses will be required to submit VAT returns in accordance with the Government's new Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme. An MTD pilot has now been launched, with HMRC inviting more than half a million businesses to trial the programme before they are required to use it from next year. HMRC has listened to FSB's concerns and will give a small group of customers with more complex requirements a further 6 months to prepare for the enforcement of MTD. To find out more about the project, click here.

Parliamentary Mentions

FSB Policy and Advocacy Chair Martin McTague gave evidence to the parliamentary Exiting the EU Committee this week, alongside representatives from the Road Haulage Association and Association of the British Pharmaceutical Association. He told the Committee that businesses need a transition period post-Brexit and that the majority of small businesses have not made preparations for a no-deal Brexit. He stressed that the lack of clarity about the UK's future relationship with the EU is making life difficult for many small firms.  

During Business Questions Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said that FSB and a number of other business groups had all called for a review of business rates in the forthcoming Budget. Business Secretary Greg Clark said that the Government has already taken measure to reduce the burden of business rates on small businesses but that they "listen constantly to the organisations she mentions". 

Join Big Voice and make your business heard

Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community and it's free for members to join. By responding to one of our surveys, members give us the evidence we need to engage with politicians around the world on the subjects that matter to them. Join for free to make sure your voice is heard.