Brexit Means Brexit: Business Owners React To News UK Will Leave The Single Market

Prime minister Theresa May has today confirmed that the UK will seek to achieve "freest possible trade" with Europe

Brexit Means Brexit: Business Owners React To News UK Will Leave The Single Market

Prime minister Theresa May has today confirmed speculation that the UK will leave the European Single Market when it leaves the European Union.

Speaking at Lancaster House in Westminster, May said the UK “cannot possibly” stay in the market, as this would mean “not leaving the EU at all.”

Established in January 1991, the European Single Market guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people within the EU, and gives UK businesses unrestrained access to over 500 million customers across the 28 EU states.

In response, May said that the UK will seek to get “freest possible trade” with Europe, while also pledging to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK.

Here, UK business owners, and those in the space, react to the news.

“It has reassured businesses looking to attract foreign talent”

Paul Goodman, chairman of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers:

“After months of refusing to give a running commentary on Britain’s plans to leave the EU, Theresa May has given us the firmest look at what Brexit actually looks like.

“As the prime minister herself indicated, the portents of economic doom that were predicted in the run-up to the vote are now nowhere to be seen.

“Instead, the continuing positive economic data tallies with what we’ve been seeing on the ground – namely that small businesses are keen to continue borrowing even as the government firms up what Brexit truly means for business.

“While there are a few grey areas that could provide assurance for Britain’s small businesses, the prime minister pledge to continue attracting ‘the brightest and the best’ will cheer small businesses that rely on access to global talent.

“Uncertainty may continue to cast a long shadow over the next couple of years, but small businesses should feel heartened – at least in the short term – by the prime minister decisive stance today.”

“It has provided clarity”

Ed Molyneux, co-founder of FreeAgent:

“Although the prime minister’s decision today to add more clarification on the type of Brexit we will see is certainly welcome, it’s also important to note that, up until now, the UK’s freelancers and micro-businesses have felt that they have not been given enough information on the planned exit from the EU.”

“Free trade with Europe is now a priority”

Niels Turfboer, managing director of Spotcap UK:

“Brexit means Brexit” is more clear than ever after May’s speech this afternoon. The strength and support of 65 million people and the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses are reasons to believe that the transition to “A Global Britain” will be a successful one.

“The most compelling argument for why we should assume this will happen is that the incentive for both the EU and the UK is the same – maximising prosperity – which will only be possible by developing a new strong partnership.

“The majority of small firms in the UK export to the EU, which is why access to the Single Market and trade deals with non-EU countries need to be key priorities during the negotiation and transition period.”

“The debate has only started…”

Anand Selvarajan, regional leader for Europe, RSM International:

“The UK government’s decision to take single market access off the negotiating table is only the beginning of the debate for businesses with ambitions to work across Europe.

“Ahead of any other concern, the number one priority for European businesses who work in the UK, is continued market access. Whether this is through the common market as we know it, a customs union or something entirely new, businesses on both sides want to reach a practical trade deal between the UK and Europe.”

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