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Brexit bark worse than its bite as fast-growth firms pursue growth

30 August 2016

Eight out of ten mid-market firms think prospects will suffer post-Brexit. Six out of ten predict growth for the year ahead and will continue to invest.

A vote for Brexit has shaken business prospects, but the investment plans of Britain’s high growth companies haven’t faltered as they continue to withstand EU uncertainty. 

According to new research from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, which surveyed almost 400 mid-market and fast growth businesses across the UK, 82% of companies polled believe that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union will damage their prospects. Despite the concern, almost half (46%) of management teams have put no measures in place to plan for how Brexit may impact their business or their people. 

With Article 50 yet to be triggered, the poll saw an almost unanimous call for the UK government to retain access to the single market as part of its negotiations. 90% of the firms surveyed want to retain tariff-free access to Europe for their goods and services. 

There was real optimism for the long term, with two thirds (65%) of businesses saying they will continue to invest during the next two years and just one third (29%) believing that Brexit shockwaves will only impact them in the short term. With 60% of respondents still predicting positive growth in the next 12 months, short term prospects are also looking good.

Simon Michaels, Managing Partner, BDO LLP, said: 

“The UK’s ambitious businesses rely on exports and international trade to thrive and achieve their high-growth targets, so it’s unsurprising they want to retain access to the single market to continue tariff-free trade with Europe. 

“Despite initial tremors, businesses remain hopeful following the vote for Brexit. However it is important that management teams put measures in place within their business to prepare for what a post-Brexit world could look like. Although we’ve got a wait on our hands before any changes could kick in, assessing the impact of leaving the EU should be on every boardroom agenda. 

“Crucially, these businesses need government policies and support that will help drive growth, employment to bring their investment plans to fruition.” 

According to the analysis, businesses in the East Midlands are the most optimistic, with 80% expecting to see positive growth this financial year, and 60% making no change to their investment plans. 


Note to editors

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has a clear ambition to be known in the market for exceptional service delivered by empowered people. The Mid-Market Monitor shows that BDO is the market leader for client satisfaction for the fourth year running – outperforming all its major competitors. 

BDO’s heartland is the mid-market. The UK mid-market accounts for less than 1% of all firms but delivers a third of UK revenue and one in four jobs. In the last five years, medium-sized businesses have grown turnover by 55% and profits by 110%. BDO’s New Economy research ( calls for the government to put the UK mid-market at the heart of its plans to rebalance the economy and help this already successful sector expand further.  

BDO LLP operates in 18 offices across the UK, employing 3,500 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP is the UK member firm of the BDO International network with revenues approaching £400m.

BDO International
The BDO International network provides business advisory services in 154 countries, with 64,500 people working out of 1,400 offices worldwide. It has revenues of $7.3bn.  


Zara Lockwood
Communications Adviser
[email protected]

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