Exit from the single market will force small businesses to close: we must not sleepwalk into this absurdityby AC Grayling / April 20, 2018 / Leave a comment
Before the European Union referendum of 2016 British businesses were polled on their Remain versus Leave preference. The result was 82 per cent in favour of remaining in the EU. That view has not changed; but it will have been noticed that British business has on the whole been quiet about repeating that view or overtly supporting the Remain cause. This might be about to change as the campaign for Remain enters a new phase with the People’s Vote initiative, while parliamentarians are beginning to push back at the Withdrawal Bill (as witnessed with the House of Lords vote on the Customs Union).
There are reasons for the restraint shown by business. First, large corporations operating across a number of countries have plenty of options for soaking up the damage that Brexit is likely to cause. They do not like the idea of the UK leaving the EU, but with their resources and options they can adjust to whatever the realities will be, even if their level of investment and presence in the UK is set to reduce. The latest large multinational employer to signal this is Honda, with implications for its Swindon operation.