EMUK’s Market Access Campaign – What does it mean for groups?

What is our Market Access campaign? 

Despite the economic turmoil we have faced in recent years, loss of access to the world’s largest internal market, right on our doorstep, remains the elephant in the room of our politics. We want to start a discussion of the benefits of Single Market access for the UK, and that begins with a frank assessment of the effects of leaving. 

Our business community has been at the forefront of this issue, and they are a crucial constituency for all major parties going into the next General Election; that’s why we are targeting Brexit-impacted businesses with our latest campaign. 

We begin with a listening campaign, gathering data and testimonies on experiences of entrepreneurs post-Brexit through our survey. 

We will then create a report from the data that we will publish and bring to Party Conferences. As part of this report, we’re offering groups the chance to do a ‘deeper dive’ survey of their own in their local area, and we will dedicate a page of the report to the findings of each local survey. 


Why now? 

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 committed Brexiter 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. 


Will there be an action day for groups? 

Yes! It will in fact be an action weekend, from Friday 30th June-Sunday 2nd July. 

We understand that groups can be busy, so you can take part any time between now and the end of July.  

The focus of the Market Access campaign is our Business Impact Survey, asking local businesses across the UK about how Brexit has affected them. Unlike other campaign days, we are targeting a specific group of people, the business community. We have created some business cards with a QR code that links to our national survey, and we’re looking for activists to take these into small and local businesses, or hand them out at stalls to business owners, and to talk to the public about the campaign. That’s all. We’ve made it easy to include as part of your previously scheduled campaign sessions, a large and visible stall, or a small team canvassing the high street. 


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. Our group in Swindon have also done a highly successful survey with a smaller team. 

On 15th May, we launched a national version of the survey to every part of the UK, across every sector of the economy. Every business in the UK should have the chance to tell their story of Brexit.  


How successful has the survey been so far? 

We’re aiming for at least 1,000 responses to the survey, but the more we have, the better case we can make for Market Access. So far, we have received over 600 responses, and the results are damning: over 96% of business owners have told us that Brexit has been a negative for their business, and almost 98% would benefit from a return to the EU Single Market. 

We’re only 400 responses off our target, that’s why we need your help! 


What is a ‘deeper dive’ survey? 

A ‘deeper dive’ survey is an opportunity for your group to have a closer look at what’s going on in your area. You can design your own questions specific to your area or host an event; maybe you have an important local industry/employer, or a close contact in the local Chamber of Commerce, or you would like to organise a business round table? 

Maybe you want to collect specific testimonies from the farming communities, or manufacturing, or retail, or services? Feel free to use your creativity. At the end of your ‘deeper dive’, we will ask for a one-page summary of what you have learned, which we will then include in our overall report to take to party conferences. 


What support will be available for ‘deeper dive’ surveys? 

We are offering each group up to £500 of funding to do their own surveys and events, simply fill in the form and return it to [email protected]. This can cover materials, advertising, events and anything else you may need. We are also providing you with a draft event plan for a roundtable, and some draft questions. 


Does my group need to do a ‘deeper dive’ to take part in the campaign? 

Not at all! If your group is low on capacity at the moment, you can still order print related to our national Business Impact Survey and hand it out to local businesses. You can also share the Survey on social media, particularly local Facebook and Next-Door groups. 

If you can, encourage business owners to write to their local paper about their experiences. Everything you can do helps! 


What is the Single Market? 

The UK lost access to the Single Market when the Brexit transition period ended in January 2021. People, goods, services and money can move around the single market almost as freely as within a single country. 

To make that possible, the EU agrees common rules and standards, to remove the need for border checks and to protect workers, consumers and the environment. It covers all 27 EU member states plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. 


What is the Customs’ Union? 

The UK lost Customs Union access alongside Single Market access. The Customs Union 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 Customs Union allows most goods to move across borders within the EU without checks or payments.  


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