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Friday, 22 May 2015

UK SMEs Have Their Say About The Country's EU Membership

This week a survey was released by Bibby Financial Services, which shows that UK SMEs want the new Government to provide simplicity and stability.

The survey highlights EU membership as a key concern for small businesses over the next few years and that almost a quarter want a simplified PAYE system. A reduction in business tax rates and an end of late payments by large companies were also high among concerns. And like many in the business community we are all left wondering what an exit from the EU might mean for staffing, exports and tariffs.

The survey highlighted many problems that SMEs face including the red tape that comes with being part of the EU. Talking to The Guardian Paul Statham, director of software development business Condeco, says he is pro-Europe but “there is a burden and I know that that is something which the government is continually battling with and I think they should continue to fight with the British point of view.”

Andy Bagnall, director of campaigns at the Confederation of British Industry also pointed out to The Guardian [that] “it is vital that the EU does more to support small businesses, like scaling back unnecessary regulation that can often burden smaller businesses, and making it easier to sell online across Europe.”

Business for Britain has stated that EU regulations accounted for 60% of all EU law, which led its chief executive Matthew Elliott to say that the Commission and the European Parliament see regulation as the answer “to every problem the EU faces”.

However, there is a feeling of indifference towards the EU from companies who don’t export. The IoD’s head of Europe and trade policy Alexandra Renison says: “For many of these businesses, they see all of the regulation with comparatively little in terms of concrete benefits that they're exporting counterparts do. Keeping in mind that over 99% of private sector businesses in the UK are SMEs (according to the government’s own estimate) and that only one in five UK SMEs export, that apathy may be more widely shared than many in internationally-oriented (both politically and economically) London may realise.”

From a business point of view would you rather see the UK in the EU? Let us know your thoughts!

360ict provides managed IT services and support for SMEs in central London and the south-east. For more advice on gaining competitive advantage as a mid-sized company, give us a call on 0208 663 4000 or contact us via our website.

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