How Brexit will affect Small businesses
The moments that Farage and over half of the country has been waiting for is nearing. Article 50 is just months away from being triggered, and the position the UK is in currently doesn’t seem to be poised for an amicable split.
The crux of the negotiations all hinge on the single market, and the caveats that come with it. According to polls, the second biggest issue in the whole referendum was immigration. The rhetoric about overcrowding, low paid labor and British workers missing out was at the heart of everything.
Britain is trying to stay within the single market, but change the parameters, namely, all the perks, but no free movement of people. Francois Hollande on the 6th October gave a speech which has strongly warned other EU members that this cannot happen.
In Hollande’s words, ” Britain wants to leave, but not pay”. Essentially, his comments tell us that either you can stay in the single market with everything that comes with it, or you can leave completely. This seems to be the feeling across the whole continent, and a so called “Hard-Brexit” is every more likely.
How will it affect small businesses?
Brexit has heralded in an era of a slumping pound. The strength against the dollar and the euro is down considerably. Whilst foreign exchange rates aren’t always the best indication of overall economic strength, it can give us an indication of the feelings out there. Since Britain is a trade deficit nation, not entering the eurozone in the first place enabled the country to keep out of the recessionary cycle the eurozone is in right now. This means then, that a hard brexit can only present a difficulty for businesses. Since we enjoy a single market relationship with Europe without the disaster of the Euro currency to deal with, what will remain is no access to that single market. This will cause costs to rise, and the potential for firms to move into the single market zone.
The logic behind the Brexiteers is that Britain will once again take up it’s old manufacturing past (which was deftly dismantled by Thatcher) this solution will take years to implement, and won’t have an affect for a long time. So for businesses, expect some tumult in the following years, as a hard brexit can and will affect trade.
How will it affect the self employed
Depending on your area of expertise, the self-employed person might be in their element. The modern day self employed entrepreneur is well equipped to deal with market tumult, since often times, money can be made anywhere on earth. This also means that there will be many opportunities opening up in the near future with all the brexit uncertainty in Europe.
Perhaps now is the best time to be self-employed, since you will have control over your own finances. This means that huge shifts in the world economy can largely leave you unaffected. Relying on salaried work might leave a more uncertain future.
To summarize, a hard Brexit may or may not happen. Currently, it seems likely that the EU will try and make the UK feel the consequences for leaving. However, the EU is headed for a stagflationary spiral that will affect the UK anyway, so the best advice would be to focus on creating your own sources of income, and don’t rely on market stability in the coming few years
GM professional accountants are specialists in small business accounting services.