Brexit Divides Opinions

There is no sugar coating it, Brexit has caused a world of confusion for UK businesses who have interest in international trade. The news is full of reports on what Brexit will mean to UK businesses, SME’s in particular. The trouble is, no one can seem to decide if Brexit is a good thing, offering new opportunities to expand overseas and think outside the confines of the EU market, or something to approach cautiously as we continue to wait on the fallout of the divorce.  

Business Matters has published an article entitled “UK SMEs growth expectations slowed as political and economic uncertainty took its toll in Q2 according to a new Global Trade Barometer” which contains some sobering statistics regarding SME’s growth expectations for this 2017 due to the split. According to the article only 30% of SME’s are currently exporting and ⅓ of SME’s polled expect to see no business growth in 2017. The stats are particularly worrying as in 2016 52% of SME’s were exporting internationally. However despite these negative impressions, the article states “two thirds of UK SMEs admitted to not knowing of, or having no strategy in place to protect themselves from future currency volatility, despite a third agreeing that their business has felt the negative impact of exchange rate movements”. 

Not all reports on SME’s Brexit views are so negative however, SmallBusinesses.co.uk has reported a far more positive view of Brexit. According to their article “UK SMEs see Brexit as an opportunity, as international trade rises” based on a survey from OFX...

Of the 500 SME owners and senior managers surveyed, two-thirds say they feel confident about doing business overseas (67 per cent). Since the EU referendum, almost half have increased international sales (48 per cent), while 36 per cent expect to start or increase exports in the next twelve months.

This is clearly drastically different to the results from Business Matters. According to SmallBusinesses.co.uk, SME’s are using Brexit as an opportunity to broaden their horizons, looking further afield to new markets like the USA, in addition the falling sterling value has been beneficial in increasing trade with the USA as the exchange rate from the dollar to the pound makes trade with the UK more advantageous for American companies. 

With the International Trade sector of two minds about the advantages or disadvantages of Brexit, it is clear that businesses who are looking at branching into overseas trade or increasing their foothold in international markets need to be fully informed about the enterprise they are undertaking. Going Global Live, Europe’s leading event for UK Businesses looking to take their businesses overseas is taking place November 16th and 17th at Olympia in London and is designed to provide companies with everything they need to take their business overseas while being fully prepared and confident to do so. 

The event is free to attend and you can register for tickets via www.goinggloballive.co.uk. If you are interested in exhibiting at this influential event, contact Event Director Simon Chicken on 0117 929 6091 or simon.chicken@prysmgroup.co.uk