What did the EU ever do for Small business?

Pros and cons of Brexit for small & Larger businesses

Within a week where the Brexit is a topic of conversation across multiple channels from the social media spectrum to the office water cooler what can we honestly say Europe has done for the British population.  Which way would you vote based on these advantages to the small businesses that generally contribute to the taxes and the future economic stability of our country?

  • Europe provides 57% of our trade avenues
  • Cheaper air travel aiding small businesses to communicate with each other
  • Cheaper mobile charges across the Euro zone
  • Single market economy bringing better industrial standards
  • Breaking up monopolies creating gaps in the market
  • European patent and copyright protection (which has helped Triathlonbox)
  • Minimal paperwork on exports throughout Europe
  • Price consistency with single currency stability
  • Freedom of movement across the Euro zone
  • European funding grants for innovation (Triathlonbox has had one of these)
  • Labour protection and enhanced social welfare, which could also be inhibitor to growth for the smaller business.
  • EU funded research
  • Supporting human rights across Europe
  • Support for better education across the Euro zone

These are just some of the key positive elements from one perspective of a small business owner that is currently working on export markets.  Following conversations with colleagues and acquaintances this is going to be a vote based on what Nigel Farages has worked on advertising for a number of years.  With 4 million people voting for UKIP in the 2015 elections out of a total of 30 million voters this element of keep our boarder’s safe really is going to be the battle line where the UK either stays or goes from Europe.

As a small business owner with a background in economics I feel that the few very wealth individuals who understand the implications for us as a nation if we leave the Euro zone are going to be drown by the masses and some right wing agendas that this campaign is going to be run on.  I have little or no interest in politics at this stage in my life.  I vote, don't get me wrong as I understand the implications of not being heard but feel that if we leave Europe it can and will be devastating to our economic power in the long term.

What is Brexit

Brexit is a shorthand way of referring to a possible British exit from the EU. It is a word that owes something to the term “Grexit”, which has been used for several years to refer to the possibility that Greece might leave the Eurozone.

Pros and cons of UK leaving EU

Things to consider when saying no to Europe

From a small business perspective ensuring that we all have the ability to trade freely with our neighbours as easily as possible is very important to the stability of our country.  The small business community does not often hit the headlines as we are all working so hard at promoting our brands; it’s almost as hard as Triathlon Training, juggling all the smaller jobs that we need to do as business owners.  But there are some key figures about small business that I'd like everyone that votes to "keep our boarders safe" without the ability to have free trade in Europe can we still be a small business power house in the UK.

  • Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2015 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs).
  • Total employment in SMEs was 15.6 million that is 60% of all private sector employment in the UK.
  • The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.8 trillion, 47% of all private sector turnovers in the UK. There were 2.4 million businesses registered for VAT or PAYE, 44% of the total population. A further 3.0 million are not registered for either VAT or PAYE.
  • The number of employing businesses increased by 35,000 and the number of non-employing businesses by 112,000, with the annual growth for both groups being around +3%.

As you can see from the above that the small business do contribute in terms of employment and tax revenues – which we then almost, gift to our neighbours to make them stronger.  I can see the long term benefits of having stronger European neighbours as can the big names in our business community.

Pros and cons of UK leaving EU  - European trade

John Cridland, CBI director-general, said: 'The EU single market is fundamental to Britain’s future economic success, but the closer union of the eurozone is not for us.  The Prime Minister rightly recognises the benefits of retaining membership of what must be a reformed EU and the CBI will work closely with government to get the best deal for Britain.”

John Longworth, director general at the British Chambers of Commerce, called on the Government to bring forward the timetable to ease uncertainty. He said: 'Announcing plans for a referendum on British membership puts the onus on the rest of Europe to take the Prime Minister seriously, as they will now see that he is prepared to walk away from the table.'

But he added: 'The lengthy timescale for negotiation and referendum must be shortened, with the aim of securing a cross-party consensus and the outline of a deal during this Parliament.'

Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, also welcomed the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU because it was better to put it to the vote than shy away from the issue. He said the move would help put to rest doubts among its members who have become 'sceptical about many of the institutions and practices of the EU'.

However, Mr Cameron's plans are not without risk, according to Terry Scuoler, chief executive of the EEF manufacturers' organisation.

He said: 'If the door to a UK exit from the union is open it will diminish our ability to influence the reforms that Europe needs.'  He also said there needed to be a 'dramatic improvement in the quality of rhetoric and debate' for the British public to make a properly informed decision.

Neil Prothero, UK analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said the uncertainty over the UK's future in the EU could damage the UK's attractiveness to businesses, given the UK's already shaky economic outlook.  'Will firms - domestic and foreign - be prepared to commit to invest in the UK in such an environment?,' he said.

Will the vote be won on xenophobia alone?

With the numbers stack heavily against the UK staying in Europe because of potential xenophobia behaviour of the masses – is this referendum really the right thing to do for the good of our country.  I have had to do almost 3 hours of reading all the different newspapers (while on the bike to get in my triathlon training sessions in) to educate myself on what the key players.  Are the masses going to spend the time trying to understand possibly the biggest vote in our life time?  I doubt it, I hope I am wrong but I think that the 4 million Farage voters have their minds made up and this moves us out of Europe very quickly.


Who can vote in the EU referendum?


Eligibility will be based on the criteria for voting in a general election, which means citizens of most EU countries (who can vote in local and European elections in Britain) will not be allowed to take part. Anyone over the age of 18 who falls into one of the following groups can cast a vote:

•British citizens resident in the UK

•British citizens resident overseas for less than 15 years

•Citizens of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus resident in the UK

•Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK

•Commonwealth citizens resident in Gibraltar


However, citizens of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, which are not in the EU, will not take part. Members of the House of Lords will be allowed to vote, despite being ineligible to cast a ballot at general elections.