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Brexit Debate at the Shard Part 2

by Claire Martinsen on Wed 09th Mar 2016 01:21

20160307_125853The Sage team had gathered a lively panel for the ‘Brexit’ debate on Monday at the Shard [so sorry…I hate that term too, but its hard to think of what else to call it!]. You can read the first part of my blog here in case you missed it yesterday

The panel consisted of:

Ian King from Sky News [Chair]

Emma Jones, Founder of  Enterprise Nation

Craig Beaumont, Head of External Affairs from the Federation of Small Business

Rt Hon Anna Soubry MP, Minster for Small Business [Pro European]

John Mills, Founder of JLM Direct [Anti European]

The debate lasted for an hour and was live streamed and the session was fast and furious with lots of contributions from the panel and questions from the audience of [mainly] small business owners.

Some of the points raised included:

  • Most Small businesses are just seeking more information about what will happen should the UK vote to leave…..there’s a mass feeling of being uninformed.
  • Small businesses employing less than 50 people account for £70 billion of export to Europe.
  • Core reason for coming out said to be ‘less regulations’ but no one in the audience could name a regulation that caused them undue distress…..and Norway said to have to comply with 98 of the top 100 most burdensome regulations despite being outside the European Union.
  • 3 Potential models for exit discussed:
    – Norwegian Model
    – EFTA Model
    – WTO Model
  • Being in the European Union means that if a product is compliant in the UK, then its also compliant in every one of the other 27 European countries.
  • Moody’s credit rating would change were the UK to leave the EU and this would have an effect on the £ exchange rate.
  • UK said to implement European regulations with more vigour than most other EU countries – a feeling that Whitehall gold plate regulations and thereby add an additional £40 billion cost for SME’s.
  • Late Payment Directive said to be an example of where EU laws are working to the advantage of SME’s.
  • Should big business leaders be expressing an opinion and thereby swaying the minds of those who work for them.
  • Much debate about how many of British laws originate in Europe…..said to be 13% by the pro EU side and much higher by those who want to leave.
  • Certain parts of the UK rely on migrant labour for fruit/vegetable picking – eg Lincolnshire and the East of England

Sage debateIt was a fascinating debate….very heated at times, and the above are really just little snippets of what took place.  To check out the full debate have a watch here ….its worth a watch for sure

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Posted in: Speakers/Meetings


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