Three Weeks Before The General Election, Just 19% of Small Business Owners Support A Hard Brexit

Investing in infrastructure, continuing the apprenticeship levy, and promoting UK higher education as an export all have strong support

Three Weeks Before The General Election, Just 19% of Small Business Owners Support A Hard Brexit

Less than three weeks before the general election, just 19% of small business owners support a ‘hard Brexit’ – according to a report by Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The survey of over 800 managers has revealed that 43% believe access to the single market and free movement of people across the EU should remain once the UK officially leaves – something the current government has ruled out should they be re-elected.

When asked for their top business wishes for the next government, securing trade deals with non-EU countries is a priority for 66% of enterprise owners as businesses begin to ‘think global’.

Guaranteeing the rights of existing EU residents (58%), investing in capital infrastructure (53%), maintaining investment in the Apprenticeship Levy (30%) and promoting UK higher education as an export (27%) also have strong support in the small business space.

Interestingly, just 19% called for a reduction in corporate tax to be a top priority.

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, said:

“Political leaders looking for a strong mandate from this election must consider the views of UK’s 3.2 million managers, who are key drivers of the UK’s productivity.

“Managers have serious concerns about continued access to skilled workers, and this is motivating the desire for free movement of people post-Brexit. All parties should focus post-election on the need to build an internationally competitive economy based on a world-class skilled workforce.”

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