What is the EU Single Market?
The UK lost access to the Single Market when the Brexit transition period ended in January 2021. In the single market, people, goods, services and money can move around almost as freely as within a single country.
To make that possible the EU agrees common rules and standards. This not only removes the need for border checks but protects workers, consumers and the environment.
The single market covers all 27 EU member states plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
What is the EU Customs Union?
When the UK lost access to the single market, it also lost access to the Customs Union.
The Customs Union (CU) allows members to trade with each other without tariffs and to impose the same tariffs on non-member countries.
Along with the single market, the CU allows most goods to move across borders within the EU without checks or payments.
How has Brexit affected the UK economy?
Hugely, and in so many ways.
According to a report from the Centre for European Research, Brexit has made the UK 5.5% poorer. In comparison with a UK that had remained in the EU, Brexit Britain has 7% less trade in goods and a whopping 11% less inward investment.
This loss of economic performance has cost the Exchequer:
- £40bn in yearly revenue (£10bn more than Liz Truss’ mini-budget) and just £6bn less than the tax increases of April 2022.
The Brexit revenue loss would cover 25% of the NHS budget (£160bn), over 80% of the defence budget (£48bn), or more than twice the policing budget (£17.2bn).
What is the European Movement’s Business Impact Survey?
We are asking businesses up and down the country to share their honest experiences of Brexit through our Brexit Impact Survey.
The idea came from our activist group in Wandsworth and Merton, who developed and delivered a survey for the businesses in their boroughs. They discovered that 65% of respondents had felt ill-prepared for Brexit at the end of the transition period, and 91% felt that Brexit had been bad for business.
Every business in the UK should have the chance to tell their story of Brexit.
“Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special… in having privileged access, not just to the UK home market… but also the EU Single Market… that’s the prize.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, February 2023
Two years have passed since Britain officially left the EU, the pandemic is over, and now we can get a clear picture of the real-life effects of Brexit on UK enterprise.
The political debate has begun to move beyond the polarisation of the 2019 General Election, and according to YouGov 53% of UK voters regret leaving the EU. Even the Brexit-supporting Rishi Sunak has admitted that Northern Ireland has a privileged position in the UK thanks to its EU market access.
With another General Election on the horizon, and every major political party courting the business community, it is time for voters and politicians to understand what Brexit really means for business.
How can I get involved as a business owner?
We want to hear what you have to say, so share your story by completing our Business Impact Survey. Make sure you share it to your contacts and networks, both inside your sector and beyond it, so we can get the biggest sample possible.
For updates on the campaign, you can join us as a supporter or member. Why not get in touch with our activists in your area to learn more about our local activities?
How can I get involved as a member of the public?
You don’t have to be a business owner to support our campaign! Circulate our survey to all the businesses you know, share it in your local Facebook and social media groups where business owners can see it. Make sure you sign up to be a supporter or member of the European Movement to keep up-to-date on the survey and our other campaigns, or join activists in your area as they take our campaign to the streets.
What do we already know about Brexit’s impact on UK businesses?
The Federation of Small Businesses reports that 1 out of every 8 UK businesses with exports to the EU have either permanently or temporarily stopped exporting, and a further 9% are thinking about it.
According to the British Chambers of Commerce, 77% of businesses have said that the withdrawal agreement has not helped them to grow, 56% have struggled with new rules around trading goods and 45% with trading services. However, behind each statistic is a business owner, entrepreneur, or employer affected by Brexit, and the campaign is about them.
For more information on our Business Impact survey, drop us a line at [email protected].