Things aren’t looking great for Theresa May. Not only did the Democratic Unionist Party torpedo her deal with the EU on the Irish border but Tory MPs have reportedly warned the prime minister to get the negotiations back on track or risk a leadership challenge. However, it seems as if some of May’s party members would welcome a breakdown of the Brexit talks. In fact, according to a new survey, a majority of Conservative MPs believe a no-deal scenario would benefit UK entrepreneurs.
The report is the result of a partnership between The Entrepreneurs Network, the think tank championing UK startups, and Bircham Dyson Bell, the law firm. Having surveyed 100 MPs via YouGov, the two organisations have revealed that 66% of Tory MPs believe British business owners would stand to win from a hard Brexit, something only 8% of Labour MPs agreed with. In contrast, 71% of Labour MPs think that British entrepreneurship would benefit from remaining in the EU, a notion shared by just a tenth of Conservative MPs.
Fortunately, the report also unveiled that politicians more or less agree about the importance of startups being able to source talent from abroad. Half of Conservative MPs and seven-tenths of Labour MPs would like to make it easier to hire skilled workers from abroad. Overall 62% of MPs are positive and 14% negative about the idea of foreigners helping startups grow.
Commenting on the report, Philip Salter, founder of The Entrepreneurs Network, said: “It’s surprising that two-thirds of Conservative MPs think a hard Brexit would be best for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs want certainty and of the minority of entrepreneurs that voted to leave from our network, most favour a softer exit. Nevertheless, it’s heartening that both parties are increasingly supportive of making it easier for entrepreneurs to move to the UK and making it easier to hire skilled workers from abroad. Access to talent is […] a major concern for the most ambitious business owners and the success or failure of Brexit will rest, to a significant degree, on the policies in place to support Britain’s entrepreneurs.”
And as the pound plummeted once again following the news of the negotiations grinding to a halt, it seems that the market would also appreciate some much-needed certainty.