Brexit a Threat to European Businesses

By European Business Awards and RSM, Special for  USDR

  • European businesses put single market access to the UK as their primary priority in negotiations
  • 41% of European businesses think UK is less attractive investment destination following EU vote

The UK’s vote to leave the EU poses a threat to the European business community, according to new research conducted for RSM, the 6th largest audit, tax and consulting network, by the European Business Awards. The research asked almost 700 of Europe’s successful business leaders their views on Brexit. 41% think that the UK is now a less attractive investment destination and 54% believe Brexit poses a threat, compared to 39% who see it as an  opportunity.

     Which aspect of the Brexit negotiation is
    most important to European businesses with
                  UK operations?
    Single Market Access    29%
    Tax breaks              22%
    Free movement of labour 22%
    Tariff levels           21%

Three months ahead of the government’s plan to invoke article 50, 14% of European businesses are already feeling the effects of Brexit, with twice as many (32%) expecting to be affected once the separation is  complete.

European businesses are most concerned about increases to their cost base. Of those European businesses who will be affected by the vote to leave the EU, 58% expect the cost of doing business to rise and 50% expect a hit on their bottom line. Moreover, these businesses are concerned about the effect the Brexit vote will have on their suppliers, with 42% expecting it to have a negative impact in the years to  come.

As Theresa May prepares to publish her Brexit plans, European firms with UK operations are calling on the two sides to come to an agreement on the single market. Continued access to the single market is the number one priority for European firms with operations in the UK, followed by tax incentives and free movement of  labour.

Anand Selvarajan, Regional Leader for Europe, RSM International commented:

“The UK’s decision to leave the EU is not just a challenge for British businesses but for companies across Europe, uncertain about what Brexit means for their international  ambitions.

It is vital, in this period of uncertainty, that businesses focus and prepare for the future based on the emerging facts and are not paralysed by the countless doomsday theories out there. Trade will continue and businesses need to be agile in responding to the evolving political and economic  landscape.”

European businesses are more despondent when it comes to the impact on the UK. 58% believe Brexit poses a threat to UK businesses with 41% of European businesses saying the UK is now a less attractive destination for investment, compared to 35% who do  not.

Indeed 25% of respondents who intended to invest in the UK reported that the decision is now under review, with 9% saying they have been approached by organisations looking to attract investment into other EU states following the UK’s decision to  leave.

Adrian Tripp, CEO, European Business Awards  said:

“Surveys conducted both before and after the referendum show us the continuing belief of many European businesses that Brexit has made the UK a less attractive place to do business. To stop this becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy the UK Government needs to get an agreement in place with the EU as soon as  possible.”

The European Business Awards is the largest cross sector business competition in Europe. Its primary purpose is to support the development of a stronger and more successful business  community.

Note to  Editors

About the  survey

Research was undertaken among European businesses who have entered the European Business Awards which are sponsored by RSM. The majority of businesses surveyed were European middle market businesses which are here defined as having employees in the hundreds or thousands. The sample included businesses from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, UK, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Sweden and  more.

About  RSM

RSM is the sixth largest network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms, encompassing over 120 countries, 760 offices and more than 38,000 people internationally. The network’s total fee income is US$4.64  billion.

RSM is the lead sponsor and corporate champion of the European Business Awards promoting commercial excellence and recognition of entrepreneurial  brilliance.

RSM is a member of the Forum of Firms, with the shared objective to promote consistent and high quality standards of financial and auditing practices  worldwide.

RSM is the brand used by a network of independent accounting and advisory firms each of which practices in its own right. RSM International Limited does not itself provide any accounting and advisory services. Member firms are driven by a common vision of providing high quality professional services, both in their domestic markets and in serving the international professional service needs of their client  base.

About the  EBA

The European Business Awards’ primary purpose is to support the development of a stronger and more successful business community throughout  Europe.

For all citizens of Europe, prosperity, social and healthcare systems are reliant on businesses creating an even stronger, more innovative, successful, international and ethical business community – one that forms the beating heart of an increasingly globalised  economy.

The European Business Awards programme serves the European business community in three  ways:

•    It celebrates and endorses individuals’ and organisations’ success

•    It provides and promotes examples of excellence for the business community to aspire to

•    It engages with the European business community to create debate on key issues

The European Business Awards is now in its 10th year. This year it engaged with over 33,000 businesses from 34 countries. Last year’s public vote generated over 227,000 votes from across Europe. Sponsors and partners include RSM, ELITE and PR  Newswire.

SOURCE European Business Awards and  RSM

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.