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Mid-market business leaders unconcerned about Brexit, says Grant Thornton

Almost a third (31%) of UK mid-market business leaders do not expect Brexit to have any impact on their business in the next six months, according to a report by Grant Thornton.

The report, which was carried out in the first two weeks of December, showed that 41% of business leaders are “more concerned about the negative impact of Covid-19”, while only 22% of businesses fear the implications of Brexit. 

Many of those surveyed welcomed the end of the Brexit transition period, with 38% predicting Brexit would have a “positive impact on their business”.

However, with just days to go to the end of the transition period, 24%, “do not feel confident that their business is ready for the upcoming changes”. 

The study found that the biggest Brexit-related worry for mid-market business leaders is legal and regulatory changes. This is followed by people-related concerns such as recruitment and mobility as well as data challenges and tax and customs changes.

Dave Munton, head of UK markets and clients, Grant Thornton said: “It is unlikely that any business will be able to totally avoid the impact that Brexit, especially a ‘no deal’ scenario, will have. 

“Whether it’s the consequences to the UK economy and the strength of the pound, or the impact on the day-to-day aspects of doing business in a global market, the effects of Brexit will hit different businesses, in different ways over different time frames.”

He added: “Whilst mid-market business leaders clearly feel that the end of the transition period will be a good thing, it is surprising to see that so many don’t believe there will be an immediate impact on their business. 

“Our work with our mid-market clients, however, does suggest that whilst many businesses have successfully dealt with the unique challenges thrown at them over the last nine months, the uncertainty surrounding the short term consequences of Brexit has resulted in the deferral of some activity until more clarity is available.”

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