Barometer highlights free trade hopes

SME manufacturers have underlined their hopes for a free trade arrangement with the EU following Brexit, according to the latest National Manufacturing Barometer. The quarterly survey, which questioned 331 industry leaders, asked SMEs to share their concerns about leaving the EU. Maintaining a free trade arrangement was cited as a key priority by around 50% of respondents, as well as the need for the government to move more quickly through the negotiation process.

Conducted by SWMAS (part of the Exelin Group) in partnership with Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), the survey also asked about the impact of the Brexit process on business to date. Worryingly, 41% of manufacturers said it had already had a negative impact, while 47% anticipate that business conditions will get even tougher once the UK leaves the EU.
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