The FSB has called for stability in order to reassure small businesses in the UK in the wake of Leave victory in the EU referendum. “The events of the last 24 hours have been momentous and the effects have already been seen on the markets,” said Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
“Clearly the EU Referendum debate has been contentious, but we now call on the government and all parties to bring stability for the business community.
The FSB chairman also called for details of how business will access the single market, and manage trade and people movement.
“Nearly a quarter of FSB members export, with the majority exporting to the single market. Access to the single market means access to 500 million potential consumers, more than 26 million businesses and is worth 11 trillion euros. We call on the government for clarity on the impact to smaller firms who export wider afield through EU FTA agreements.
“These are crucial questions that need to be answered swiftly to ensure the UK’s 5.4 million small business confidence does not fall any further, which is already at the lowest levels since 2013.This includes clarity over the practical implications of this result on how smaller firms do business.
“FSB will continue to be a constructive partner in any upcoming negotiations, ensuring the voice of smaller firms is heard loud and clear.”
‘Urgent priority is to reassure the markets’
The CBI echoed the FSB’s call for calm: Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said,“The British people’s vote to leave the EU is a momentous turning point in our history. The country has spoken and it’s for us all to listen.
“Many businesses will be concerned and need time to assess the implications. But they are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt.
“The urgent priority now is to reassure the markets. We need strong and calm leadership from the government, working with the Bank of England, to shore up confidence and stability in the economy.
“The choices we make over the coming months will affect generations to come. This is not a time for rushed decisions.
“The CBI will be consulting its members and business is committed to working with Government to shape the best possible conditions for future prosperity.”