Less than one in five UK managers support ‘hard Brexit’

Study finds

In advance of the general election, UK managers have made clear what they want to see from a new government. With Brexit on the horizon, just one in five (19 per cent) managers favour a so-called ‘hard Brexit’, according to new research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Of the 801 UK managers surveyed by CMI, over two third of managers think a deal that secures access to the single market and/or freedom of movement of people would be the best outcome of the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Just 19 per cent called for a reduction in corporate tax to be a top priority.

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, commented, “Political leaders looking for a strong mandate from this election must consider the views of UK’s 3.2 million managers, who are key drivers of the UK’s productivity. Managers have serious concerns about continued access to skilled workers, and this is motivating the desire for free movement of people Post-Brexit. All parties should focus post-election on the need to build an internationally competitive economy based on a world-class skilled workforce.”

Commissioned to gauge the sentiment of managers after the surprise general election was announced, the research reveals a significant number have already been affected by the snap election. Just under a fifth (19 per cent) said it had made decision-making more difficult in their organisation, while a similar number (18 per cent) said that it had caused more uncertainty among employees.

Perhaps as a result of the uncertainty, more managers (36 per cent) of managers think the decision to call the election will have a negative impact on their organisation over the next 12 months, than those who think the effect will be positive (26 per cent).

The research also sought to uncover what impact the past 12 months of political and economic upheaval has had on managers. Over a third said their quality of working life has declined, a similar number are working longer hours, and 48 per cent say they have more work to do.

As a result, there has been a sharp rise in the number of managers who say they are more stressed and less motivated than they were 12 months ago.

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