Insurance · 21 March 2017

MPs encourage small business exporting ahead of formal Brexit talks

parliament
All Westminster politicians want to see more help given to small firms

The clear majority of Britain’s politicians believe small business exporting needs a boost for the country to meet its trading potential, a study has found.

A new survey, from small business advice platform Informi, revealed that as many as 85 per cent of MPs want to see a huge increase in small business exporting, ensuring the UK’s global trading influence ahead of Brexit.

The study took the temperature of MPs on both sides of the House of Commons in the same week prime minister Theresa May fired the starting gun for Brexit negotiations.

On 20 March, May informed European politicians she will trigger Article 50 on 29 March 2017 and formally begin the process of leaving the EU.

According to the survey, almost 80 per cent of Westminster MPs believe the government fail to provide enough information or guidance to small UK business owners.

Some 71 per cent also perceive inequalities between small firms and larger UK companies – a growing concern that may require increasing government intervention as Brexit negotiations continue.

“The study highlighted the importance of encouraging more small businesses to export,” said product manager for Informi, Darren Nicholls.

“The UK is responsible for over 40 per cent of world trade, and yet government figures suggest just nine per cent of our small companies export.”

The survey also revealed MPs thoughts about the tax system. Some 70 per cent of Westminster politicians thought the amount of time and money small UK business owners spent dealing with tax issues seriously impacted the health of their venture, and limited their ability to invest or create jobs.

The findings confirmed policy makers backed the government’s plans to rollout Making Tax Digital, as 63 per cent either strongly or somewhat agreed with the idea the plan would positively impact on small businesses.

Nicholls added: “As a nation we could achieve so much more of our potential.

“Whether you started a new business yesterday or have been heading up multiple businesses for years, it’s clear there is a wider requirement for the ability to receive independent help and advice, especially given the current unknowns about the effects of Brexit.”

Small exporters are adopting a global outlook, with new markets in sight

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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