Small firms ‘have more to lose from EU tar­iffs’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

Small com­pa­nies will be hit “dis­pro­por­tion­ately hard” if tar­iffs are im­posed on Euro­pean Union im­ports and ex­ports af­ter Brexit, the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­ness (FSB) has warned.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of small firms wanted to re­main in the sin­gle market when sur­veyed by the FSB in au­tumn, be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May con­firmed the UK would pull out to get full con­trol over im­mi­gra­tion.

If tar­iffs of any level were in­tro­duced as a re­sult, more than a quar­ter (27%) of ex­port­ing small com­pa­nies would be de­terred from trad­ing with the EU, the sur­vey sug­gested. And the fig­ure rose to a third if tar­iffs of be­tween 2 and 4% were in­tro­duced, which the FSB said was the range the EU’s av­er­age ap­plied tar­iff has fallen in re­cently.

FSB na­tional chair­man MIke Cherry said: “The re­al­ity is that the EU sin­gle market is still a cru­cial market for smaller firms.”

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