The majority (75 per cent) of the UK’s growth businesses would prefer to move forward with Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal than face further political upheaval, according to a poll conducted by BGF, the most active investor in the UK.
Launched this week, the exclusive poll represents the views of almost 200 CEOs and Chairs of small to mid-sized business. These companies are all headquartered in the UK and pursuing expansion plans in 2019.
The results found:
- Support for Theresa May’s deal is not universal. 46.8% of respondents support the current deal, while 28.4% do not and 24.7% are uncertain.
- But one thing is clear – no deal is not a good outcome. 75% prefer May’s deal to no deal; 14% said they would prefer no deal and 11% are unsure.
- There is no appetite for a general election. 85% of respondents are not in favour of a general election; 8% are in favour and 7% are unsure.
- In line with the general population, business leaders are divided over whether they want a second referendum. 50% are in favour of a second referendum; 45% are not in favour and 5% are unsure.
Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said: “While there is mixed support for May’s deal, overwhelmingly, the view is that no deal is not a good outcome. If there is a message here, it is that it is better to have momentum around the deal that’s on the table, rather than returning to the drawing board – unless a credible Plan ‘B’ is truly deliverable before the end of next March.
“There is a real risk of a silent but significant slowdown as confidence in the UK ebbs, and companies put their investment plans on hold. Moving quickly to a more predictable landscape at the same time as safeguarding a healthy level of funding should be the two immediate priorities in regard to business.
“Undoubtedly a nervousness exists, and we need to ensure that motivated companies are not forced to down tools on their ambitions because of a lack of investment.
“BGF on average has invested in one business per week in 2018 and over £400m already, and we intend to maintain that momentum. We are now actively exploring ways in which we could increase our commitment to funding and supporting even more businesses in a post-Brexit Britain.”
Survey Results – total of 190 respondents collected in December 2018
Do you support Theresa May’s Brexit deal?
Yes – 46.8%
No – 28.4%
Not sure – 24.7%
Is this deal preferable to no deal?
Yes – 75.3%
No – 14.2%
Not sure – 10.5%
Are you in favour of a second referendum?
Yes – 50%
No – 45.3%
Not sure – 4.7%
Are you in favour of a general election?
Yes – 8.4%
No – 84.7%
Not sure – 6.8%