Nearly 9 out of every 10 (86%) of the UK’s SMEs feel they will either benefit or feel little to no impact if free movement of labour is restricted post-Brexit, according to our research.

The results were obtained from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that questions over close to 1,000 UK and RoI SME owners and senior management across a range of sectors and regions.

While this result might be surprising to some, it’s important not to forget that a significant minority (14%) of businesses feel they will actually suffer. And it becomes even more nuanced when unpicking the detail; for example, businesses with a turnover of over £10m feel they will be more affected than smaller organisations, with 26% feeling they will be negatively impacted, against only 5% of firms turning over less than £250k. 

From a sector perspective, it comes as no surprise that the transport and logistics sector stands to be the most affected (23% ‘suffer’) since European drivers are currently propping up the shortfall in UK drivers.

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