70 per cent of Scots businesses want to stay in EU single market

The UK is preparing to leave the single market. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
The UK is preparing to leave the single market. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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Nearly three-quarters of Scottish businesses want to remain in the customs union and single market, according to a survey on firms’ attitudes to Brexit.

Nearly three-quarters of Scottish businesses want to remain in the customs union and single market, according to a survey on firms’ attitudes to Brexit.

The study by HLB International Accountancy Network found half of Scottish businesses believe they will be financially worse off after Brexit, compared to 46 per cent in the rest of the UK.

Some 70 per cent of the 177 Scottish businesses in sectors including retail, manufacturing and services said they would prefer to stay in the customs union and single market, compared to 64 per cent in the rest of Britain.

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Further findings show almost two-thirds of the Scottish firms questioned said they believe the economy will get worse over the next decade, compared to 59 per cent of their UK counterparts.

Two-thirds said they think the Brexit negotiations are going badly compared to 58% in the rest of the UK, the survey found.

Almost half of Scottish respondents told the study that they believe the EU is behaving fairly in the Brexit negotiations compared to 40 per cent in the rest of the country.

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Graeme Finnie, of French Duncan LLP, a member of the network, said: “We can see that Scottish firms are very concerned about Brexit and see little benefit for their business if the UK leaves Europe.

“This is undoubtedly due to uncertainty about the impact of Brexit, concern over a loss of access to markets, and wariness of a process that appears to be mired in confusion and a lack of planning.

“Scottish business owners are not interested in the politics of Brexit but are genuinely worried about how it will impact on the financial position of their businesses and the wider effect on the Scottish economy.”