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UK businesses 'concerned about eurozone crisis'
Accountancy News |
The eurozone crisis is continuing to worry British businesses, hampering their efforts to lead a sustainable economic recovery, it has been suggested.
A new report published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that economic developments in the eurozone top the list of issues business owners believe will affect their firm in 2012 and 2013.
Over half (52 per cent) of the 2,000 firms surveyed said the ongoing uncertainty will have a 'significant influence' on their business in 2012 and 2013.
Cuts to UK public sector budgets (46 per cent) and access to finance (42 per cent) were found to be the next most significant concerns.
But despite companies' concerns about the eurozone, the EU remains the favoured export destination for UK firms.
The survey also found over one third of firms (35%) believe that the disadvantages of rules and regulations imposed by Brussels outweigh the benefits of being part of the single market.
Some 78 per cent of businesses said it is relatively easy to do business with other countries in Europe, compared to the 62 per cent who said the same about the US and Canada and 60 per cent about Australia and New Zealand.
John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said UK firms seem to feel that the balance of advantage of EU membership is lessening.
"That one-third of firms think the negatives associated with membership in the form of regulation outweigh the benefits of the single market is surprising," he stated.
"It demonstrates that more must be done to make the single market work better for businesses looking to export."
This includes the creation of a digital single market, making a reality of the internal market for energy, and deepening the single market in services, Mr Longworth stated.
“While UK companies find it easier to trade with other countries in Europe, the lead is not as strong as it should be," he noted.
"It is an indictment of the single market that it is almost as easy to trade with countries as far as away as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
He said the UK government must help to deliver a market that works, and make efforts to stem the tide of regulation from Brussels that prevent businesses from growing.
Posted by John Lynes
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