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Region's businesses more confident about Brexit impact, survey finds

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John TaylorJohn TaylorMiddle market companies in the region are more confident about the impact of Brexit on their company's performance than at any other time in the past year, according to the latest YouGov survey commissioned by Swindon-based audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

RSM’s quarterly Brexit Monitor index, in which any reading above 100 indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic, found that businesses in the South recorded a score of 111 when asked about the impact of Brexit on their business over the next two years and 116 over a five-year horizon.

Both were the highest scores for the South since the Brexit Monitor began in June 2017.

Business from across the region are also confident about the UK government’s ability in securing a ‘good deal’. 47 percent of businesses said they were confident of the UK achieving a good deal, just over three times the number of those who weren’t (15 percent).

Nationally, the survey of more than 300 UK middle market business leaders found optimism about the long term economic impact of Brexit has increased over three consecutive quarters.

John Taylor, RSM's regional managing partner for the South said: "Overall middle market business sentiment appears to contradict rising fears that the UK government is losing ground in its bid to secure a deal that is in the best interests of the UK.

"Brexit will undoubtedly present many challenges, but our survey found that the region's businesses are feeling more confident in their own ability to offset these challenges.

"These findings perhaps underline the agility and entrepreneurial spirit which are hallmarks of the UK's middle market. However, as we have seen this week, there remains a real frustration among business over the lack of clarity over the UK's future trading relationships.

"Put simply, many companies just want to get on with it, but the uncertainty means they are unable to make adequate preparations and to adjust their balance sheet and structures appropriately."