With much of the debate in the EU referendum campaign revolving around economics, PSD has been considering what a Brexit would mean for our clients’ businesses. Whilst no one can fully predict the impact of leaving the EU, the effects on business, employment and wage inflation are well worth considering.

This spring we undertook a UK wide survey of thousands of industry leaders in order to understand their views on the effect of a possible Brexit on their business. We were particularly keen to explore how our clients believe a potential exit from the EU will affect their business expansion and hiring plans, and crucially which way they would vote.

Summary of the questions & responses   
If the UK leaves the EU what is the likelihood of you expanding your business in the UKIncreased
 6%
Decreased
 28%
Unchanged
 66%
If the UK leaves the EU do you consider wage inflation will beIncreased
 38%
Decreased
 12%
Unchanged
 50%
If the UK leaves the EU do you consider employment legislation will beMore complex
16%
Simplified
 38%
Unchanged
 46%
If the UK leaves the EU do you consider that hiring staff for your business will beEasier
14%
Harder
 42%
No different
 44%
On balance would youStay in the EU
 69%
Exit the EU
31%
Business leaders are voting to stay! 

Given the choice to leave or stay in the European Union, overwhelmingly nearly 70% of respondents said they would choose to stay in the EU. This is contrary to high profile polls across broadcasting networks, which show a closer split. Opinions varied according to the sector - 90% of leaders in the Hospitality & Leisure sector said that they would vote against an exit, whereas only 62% of respondents from the Property & Construction sector said they would vote to stay in Europe.Exit Stay

Expand C 500pxIf we leave the EU, will you still expand your business.

If Britain was no longer part of the EU, 66% of business leaders feel the likelihood of them expanding their business will not change. However, nearly 30% believed that there would be a decrease in business expansion. Some sectors, such as Banking & Financial Services, expressed more concern, with 46% feeling that there would be a decrease; 48% of Technology leaders mirrored this sentiment.

Hiring Effect EThe effect of Brexit on hiring people.

Within the Hospitality & Leisure sector, 70% of business leaders feel it will be harder to hire staff if Britain were to leave the EU. However, 56% of respondents from the Property & Construction sector don't feel there will be any difference.

 Publication Date: 26/04/2016