We’re drawing ever closer to the EU Referendum Vote, and as the 23rd June looms, businesses are starting to ask the big questions as they look for a clearer picture on the benefits of leaving and staying.

Currently we are being faced with ‘scaremongering’ tactics from both sides, but as no country has ever left the EU before, no one really knows what could happen when faced with this question, and this uncertainty is driving the need for hard facts and figures to be laid out. Ultimately, businesses are focusing on whether they would be better out of the 28-member union, looking into how trade would be affected across larger and smaller businesses and how new trade deals could be beneficial to all.

In this blog we’re going to run through a few of the key facts and figures that have been released, to help show you how Britain could end up either way; we’re being totally unbiased, to ultimately educate you. So how could the EU Referendum affect UK businesses?

Small Vs Large Businesses

What we’ve witnessed so far is that bigger businesses are predominantly gunning for a Brexit, whilst smaller SME’s are in favour of staying, and there are a number of reasons being argued by each side.

Recognisable business heads including Tim Martin, Founder and Chairman at Wetherspoon, Sir James Dyson and the Head of JCB, amongst others, have each expressed their opinions surrounding an exit. Tim Martin has ordered 200,000 beer mats to be placed in each of the 920 UK Wetherspoon’s, see below for image. The focus of the beer mats message is the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and its leader Christine Lagarde, asking why the UK should trust her views.
Wetherspoon Brexit Beer Mat

Whilst no one could predict exactly what could happen in the event Britain leaves the EU, it’s clear that at least initially a Brexit has the potential to cause a negative impact on businesses. Shock and uncertainty would create a knock on effect to the economy, with the pound already struggling due to the uncertainty prior to the referendum.

Generally, smaller businesses are worried about how trade, movement of staff and offices in countries across the EU would be affected following a leave vote. With these kinds of businesses protected by EU laws and regulations, would these still be in place following a Brexit? No one can answer the questions regarding new trade deals, and how these laws and regulations would work.

How Would Trade Be Affected?

The EU is a single market in which no tariffs are imposed on imports and exports between member states, with more than 50% of our exports going to EU countries. Currently, Britain benefits from trade deals between the EU and other world powers including the US, with negotiations happening now to create the world’s biggest free trade area “something that will be highly beneficial to British businesses”, according to the BBC.

It is information such as the below that is vital to the decision making surrounding an exit, the Twitter account @BBCRealityCheck is taking these ‘facts’ that leaders of each side are putting out there and creating a place where you can see the real information behind the figures to ultimately help people and businesses make an informed decision.

If the vote on the 23rd June results in Britain leaving the EU, new trade agreements will be put in place, with many of the leave supporters arguing that these would place Britain in a much better position to trade across the world, arguing it would allow Britain to become a global hub for entrepreneurs.

David Cameron recently stated that there are 3 million jobs linked to trade in the EU, arguing that these could be jeopardised if we leave. However, these are not direct jobs, these are links to trade and the status of these would wholly depend on the new trade deals that would be drawn up following a Brexit.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet and you thought you’d missed your chance, don’t worry you’ve been given a lifeline. The deadline has been extended to midnight tonight, register to vote here.