A YouGov Business Omnibus survey of small and medium size businesses reveals that over half of decision makers in those organisations believe leaving the European Union will make the UK economy weaker.
The study showed that overall, 52% percent of decision makers in SMEs believe leaving the EU will have an adverse effect on the UK economy. Three in ten (29%) say it will make the UK economy stronger, while 12% say it will make no difference.
Those in medium sized businesses are more pessimistic – 60% say the economy will get worse, compared to 51% in small companies.
As would be expected, there is variance in opinion among those who voted to leave and remain. Two thirds (65%) of those that voted to leave believe the economy will improve, and a fifth (21%) say Brexit will make no difference, 7% say it will get worse.
Among remainers, 88% say the economy will suffer, 5% say nothing will chance while 2% predict it will get better.
It is in the capital that business decision makers are most concerned about the economy’s prospects. Almost seven in ten (69%) of those that mainly work in London believe the economy will deteriorate.
And while the focus of the study is on business people, it is striking that opinions on the economy in terms of age, mirror the trends in voting behaviour. Almost two thirds (65%) of under 35s believe the economy will suffer, compared to 44% of those 55+.