Business leaders in the South split on prospects of a good Brexit deal

John Taylor
John Taylor

Business leaders in the South are split on the UK Government's prospects of delivering a good Brexit deal, according to a new survey by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.
Conducted by YouGov prior to the recent Salzburg meeting, RSM's Brexit Monitor survey found that half of respondents in the South were confident in the Government's ability to achieve a 'good deal', up slightly versus the previous quarter. This was higher than the national average of 39 per cent which dipped to its lowest quarterly level since the survey was first carried out in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.
For the first time, the survey also canvassed business opinions towards a second referendum, revealing that a majority of respondents in the South said they were in favour.
Sixty-seven per cent of middle market business leaders in the region said they were either fully in favour of, or would broadly welcome, a second referendum on the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union. Meanwhile, just 7 per cent said they would either not welcome, or would strongly oppose a second referendum.
The survey found that support for a second referendum was equally high in London, while Scotland was the least favourable towards a second referendum with just 47 per cent in favour.
John Taylor, RSM's southern regional managing partner said: 'Despite the political impasse, companies in the South are more optimistic than other regions about the prospects of the UK Government securing a good deal. However, many are also in favour of having a say on the terms of the deal, with two thirds expressing support for a second referendum.
‘At present the Government's position suggests that a second referendum on the terms of departure is not an option that's currently on the table.
'All eyes will now be on the EU summit in mid-October, described by Donald Tusk as 'the moment of truth'. Many businesses will be hoping for some much-need progress from both the EU and the UK.'

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