West Yorkshire Businesses Reveal Brexit Concerns

In a recent survey, just 11 per cent thought leaving the EU would be 'beneficial'.

Just 11 per cent of West Yorkshire businesses believe Brexit will be beneficial, with a third of believing it will have a “detrimental impact”.

The Leeds City Region Business Survey collected the views of over 2,000 businesses in the area between January and March. Results of the survey will be presented to West Yorkshire Combined Authority at a meeting next week.

The report says: “33 per cent of businesses said they felt Brexit would have a detrimental impact, compared to 11 per cent saying it would be beneficial.

“This compares to 28 per cent and 10 per cent in the 2017 survey respectively.

“Companies in manufacturing, construction and other production industries are more likely to say Brexit will be beneficial, whereas those in logistics and financial services are more concerned about the implications.”

The report adds: “15 per cent of respondents identified opportunities in Brexit, with an increase in customers/demand, less restrictive regulation and more investment in UK or home grown products all mentioned by 2 per cent of respondents.

“60 per cent of businesses identified some risk from Brexit, with higher costs identified by 10 per cent of respondents, general uncertainty / lack of confidence (8 per cent) and the loss of customers (7 per cent) the most frequently mentioned.

“82 per cent of respondents said they were not at all reliant on EU migrant workers, with 8 per cent saying they were quite or heavily reliant.

“However, among medium and larger companies, 18 per cent are either quite or heavily reliant on EU workers.

“The hospitality sector has the highest reliance, with 13 per cent of companies either quite or heavily reliant.”

“Ongoing uncertainty” about what Brexit will actually look like is also starting to influence decisions being made by businesses.

The report adds: “Whilst stockpiling and forward planning is helping to offset this in some areas of manufacturing, the broader picture is of slowing momentum affected by both Brexit and more challenging global conditions. “Whilst it is encouraging that a majority of businesses surveyed have actively considered the implications of Brexit and are confident of withstanding a no deal scenario, there remains a substantial number who have either not taken action or are not confident their response is sufficient. ”

The Authority will also hear details from the Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey, including how businesses are preparing for No Deal Brexit.

On that survey, the report says: “54 per cent of City Region businesses told the QES that they were either confident or very confident that they could withstand potential disruption from a “no deal” scenario, with 16 per cent not very or not at all confident.”

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