Research by tax adviser, Qdos Contractor among 1350 UK freelancers and contractors has found 18 per cent of freelancers and contractors believe Brexit will have a positive impact on their business performance while 44 per cent do not believe their business will be affected in any way by Brexit.
The study also found 38 per cent expect the UK’s decision to leave the European Union to negatively impact their business performance. Currently, 70 per cent of freelancers asked do not work, or do not have any plans to work on projects in the rest of Europe.
“Article 50 has been triggered, and barring any large and hugely unexpected political turnarounds, the UK is set to negotiate its leave from European Union,” notes Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO. “But given that less than one in five freelancers or contractors believe this is set to benefit their business, is of course concerning.
“The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit negotiations from the EU will have no doubt played its part in affecting freelancer’s optimism,” he continued, “and while chaos following last week’s General Election ensues, it does raise the possibility of a ‘softer Brexit’, which could play an important role in revitalising struggling confidence surrounding our exit from the EU. Brexit negotiators should seize the opportunity as we prepare for exit talks.
Maley notes that the majority of freelancers currently do not work on projects across Europe, and do not plan to. On this basis it is clear that the UK’s independent workforce are unlikely to be a major consideration in creating a deal that works. He believes it is positive that 44 per cent of freelancers and contractors asked, do not expect Brexit to affect their business at all.
“That said, we urge the Brexit negotiators to prioritise access to the single market, and with it the free movement of people and workers,” says Maley. “Freelancers and contractors are vital to business, essential to the UK economy, and should be factored strongly in any exit plans.”