Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 29th June 2016
A sizable minority of British companies are planning to put their hiring and investment plans on hold in the wake of the recent referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
With Britain seemingly poised to come out of the EU at some point during the next few years, many UK businesses are apparently reassessing their options and exercising a notable degree of caution when considering their investment strategies.
According to a survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in the wake of the EU referendum vote, a quarter of company bosses are now intending to freeze recruitment and 5 per cent say they will soon be looking to reduce the scale of their workforces.
Around a fifth of the people polled by the IoD said they would consider moving aspects of their operations out of the UK entirely, while two-thirds suggested that they felt the result of Britain’s referendum on EU membership would have a negative impact on their businesses.
More than a third of the directors said they would reduce the scope of their investment plans as a direct result of the referendum vote but roughly a third said they intend to leave their recruitment strategies unchanged and 44 per cent said the vote would not impact their investment plans.
“Businesses will be busy working out how they are going to adapt and succeed after the referendum result. But we can’t sugar-coat this, many of our members are feeling anxious,” said Simon Walker, director general of the IoD.
“A majority of business leaders think the vote for Brexit is bad for them, and as a result plans for investment and hiring are being put on hold or scaled back.”
The IoD’s research among its members also found that there is not yet a consensus among company directors about what kind of trading model would be most preferable for UK businesses when and if the country leaves the EU.
“Businesses have a clear message to those who may wish to replace David Cameron as prime minister - during the referendum campaign we were promised an open and outward-looking country after Brexit, now it must be delivered,” Mr Walker said in a statement.