Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 25th September 2018
A tranche of technical notices issued recently by the government about what a No Deal Brexit might mean has seemingly intensified concerns about the prospect among small businesses.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and its national chairman Mike Cherry, confidence among small firms has “dipped into negative territory” and is likely to have taken a further turn for the worse in the wake of recent events.
“Last week’s summit in Salzburg laid bare the volatility of the current Brexit negotiations and has heightened concerns among our small businesses,” Mr Cherry said in a statement.
“So far, the government has released three tranches of information that really hit home the message that a chaotic no deal Brexit will be damaging and dangerous for our small firms.”
Mr Cherry went on to point out that a lot of small firms based in the UK rely heavily on being able to have goods shipped in and out of the EU on a routine basis.
He also raised concerns about the prospect of the UK not being able to remain within the Unitary Patent System if there is no deal between Britain and the EU on the terms of Brexit.
“There will also be an adjustment for those smaller businesses currently using EU trademarks and registered community designs, relying on EU cross border copyright mechanisms or on the EEA regional exhaustion scheme,” Mr Cherry said. “This risks stifling innovation at the very time we need to nurture it.”
The FSB’s own research suggests that only one in seven small businesses in the UK are actively preparing for what might happen in the event of a No Deal Brexit situation.
For this reason and others, the small business lobby wants to see the government avoid a No Deal scenario “at all costs” and find a way to deliver a “pro-business deal” as the basis for the UK’s exit from the EU.
The government said in notices issued on Monday September 24th that a No Deal Brexit will mean that UK and EU airlines would lose their automatic right to fly into each other’s territories, admitting that delays to scheduled flights could be caused as a consequence.