UK based foreign companies express growing pessimism over Brexit negotiations

According to Ipsos MORI

A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of 13 foreign Chambers of Commerce in the UK finds the overwhelming majority (82 per cent) of foreign businesses say they are either “not very” or “not at all confident” that a positive outcome for the UK will be achieved from the Brexit negotiations by March 2019. Just one in eight (13 per cent) take an optimistic view on the likely outcome of these negotiations.

The survey of member companies also reveals that a majority (55 per cent) thinks the likely effect of Brexit on future investments by their companies in the UK, will be negative. One in five (22 per cent) think their decrease in investment will be greater than 10 per cent. By contrast only one in ten (10 per cent) think Brexit will have a positive impact on their future investments in the UK.

These figures are in line with their perspective on the overall impact of the Brexit referendum vote on their UK business up to this point: a handful (eight per cent) say this has been positive, while substantially more (54 per cent) that it has been negative.

The top priorities these businesses say they would like to see addressed are:

  • Smooth access to the EU market for goods and services (72 per cent) and smooth access to both high and low-skilled workers from abroad (43 per cent);
  • Continued regulatory alignment with the EU (30 per cent)
  • The facility for the UK Government to strike trade deals (22 per cent) are also selected by at least one in five respondents in this context.

One in five respondents says their assessment of the current state of the UK economy is positive (21 per cent). In contrast, 53 per cent have a negative perception. Pessimism is rather more marked for views on the UK economy over the next five to 10 years; with three times as many saying their views are negative (58 per cent) rather than positive (19 per cent).

TECHNICAL DETAILS: 1,046 members of the 13 Chambers of Commerce (see list below) took part in an anonymous online survey conducted by Ipsos MORI between 7th and 23 October. These companies all have operations in the UK.

PARTICIPATING CHAMBERS: America, Belgium-Luxemburg, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade

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