The Telegraph’s recent coverage of Vince Cable and Chuka Umunna and their campaign for the UK to stay in the EU, featured commentary from head of public policy, James Dowling. It also took exclusive results from a joint research initiative between Lansons and Opinium on 500 SME businesses, which aims to understand their stance on Brexit and how they think it will affect their business. Read the full article here, and see extract below.
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A new poll undertaken by Opinium on behalf of Lansons, the reputation management consultancy, and shared exclusively with the Daily Telegraph shows that of the people disposed to leave the EU, regulation was their second-biggest gripe, after freedom of movement and immigration.
The research, which polled more than 500 business owners, found that small businesses favour remaining in the EU – 49pc are for the status quo compared to 41pc who are pro-Brexit. The remaining 9pc do not know how they will vote.
For those intending to vote to remain, the main reasons cited were economic growth and good relations with other EU countries.
The Leave camp has used the burden of EU regulation as a key message in their campaigning.
Lansons’ head of public policy James Dowling said that playing the regulation card will ultimately be to the Remain camp’s advantage.
“Attempts to push the burden of regulation as a Leave message are unlikely to have cut-through,” he said. “It was third on a list of concerns, behind immigration, which is top for everyone, and economic growth.
Immigration is the issue with the most cut-through, something that Leavers can use to push the small business cohort into their camp.”
Mr Cable and Mr Umunna gave a rundown of the implications of Brexit for small businesses: they forecast two to three years of uncertainty, followed by exclusion from the free-trade zone, which would affect small firms’ ability to export, and also import goods from the EU.
Tom Cridland, the boss of the eponymous clothing company, said that Brexit would almost certainly result in “trade restrictions or added financial costs” that would have a severe impact on growing his business.