Tell your MP – Brexit isn’t working for UK businesses

The European Movement UK spoke to over 1,700 businesses across the UK about their experiences of Brexit. The evidence we collected showed huge damage across multiple sectors. Read our report here.

We need politicians to recognise the damage caused by Brexit to Britain’s businesses and commit to improve our trading relationship with our neighbours in the EU.

Make sure they get the message by sending a copy of the Business Impact Report to your MP today.

The European Movement UK’s activist group in Wandsworth and Merton developed and delivered a survey for the businesses in their boroughs in Summer 2021. They created a survey, printed business cards with a QR code, and delivered them to businesses across their boroughs. Their survey discovered that 65% of respondents felt ill-prepared for Brexit at the end of the transition period, and 91% felt that Brexit had been bad for business. They launched their report at a business roundtable event in December 2021, you can read it at

To collect accurate and useful qualitative and quantitative data, we created an environment in which entrepreneurs felt they could speak honestly and offered respondents the chance to remain anonymous, only collecting personal contact information from those who opted in to receive communication from us. Regardless of anonymity, we collected data on postcode area, sector and workforce size. All the case studies are from those who chose to share their data, but we have included some anonymous responses to qualitative questions, where permission has been given.

We targeted businesses in 4 ways; organic social media posts, paid social media ads, our activist base and our supporter list. We paid for advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn, with the latter targeting businesses in Northern Ireland. We sent three emails to our supporter list across the UK, with an additional email in Northern Ireland. Wales also received an additional, Welsh language email. We distributed business cards with a QR code linking to the survey to groups across the UK, who in turn distributed them in their local areas to ensure that the widest possible variety of businesses had the opportunity to take part.

Due to the overwhelming response from the business community, we at the European Movement UK have prioritised the qualitative and quantitative analysis of our findings in our campaigning activities. Many of our local activist groups are planning outreach campaigns and events for businesses, as are the European Movement in Scotland and Wales for Europe.

"We used satin from Italy, elastics from Spain and Germany, stretch lace from Germany and France and our manufacturer was in Bulgaria. I did all that was recommended by HMRC to prepare for Brexit. The reality of sending garments to the EU (ROI were my best customers) was a nightmare in terms of completing the correct customs paperwork, terms of origin etc. Despite double checking requirement codes, I still had goods that spent ages in transit and were then returned for 'incorrect customs information'. The business was losing money, so I decided to close and retire! Brexit was the final nail in the coffin of the business." - Carole, Bloomin’ Sexy, Devon

"These are the harsh realities of Brexit. The Windsor Framework helps smooth trade, especially agri-food, on the island of Ireland. However, the lack of free movement has had a real impact on some sectors, particularly food processing and construction. Both those sectors relied heavily on Eastern Europe for workers prior to Brexit. Initially, it was difficult to obtain supplies & spare parts from England. More companies were unsure of what to do, so just stopped supplying. This has eased, but with suggestions that areas of enforcement are being discussed again, new problems might emerge. Of course, the supply of pedigree breeding livestock continues to be a real issue. Depending on what is enforced, it may be more difficult to obtain supplies from GB, and the issue of veterinary medicines continues, albeit in the background. I hope reality is beginning to dawn in London, and that after the General Election, the UK Government will take a more constructive approach to dealing with the EU." - Hugh, Livestock Farmer, Co. Antrim

European Movement UK