Norfolk firms favour a softer Brexit, according to research by accountants Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton's Toby Wilson. Picture: Rob Ward/Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton's Toby Wilson. Picture: Rob Ward/Grant Thornton - Credit: Rob Ward/Grant Thornton

Half of Norfolk firms believe a softer Brexit would provide a positive outcome for their business, research has found.

A survey by accountancy firm Grant Thornton found 50% of companies favoured a soft Brexit with only 13% wishing to leave the single market and customs union entirely.

The survey was conducted as part of Grant Thornton's Norfolk Limited study.

Toby Wilson, of Grant Thornton's Norwich office, said: 'At this stage in the process, it's impossible to predict what the UK's relationship with Europe will look like post March 2019 when the negotiation period is due to end. However, our survey results indicate that the majority of Norfolk businesses support the idea of a 'softer' approach to Brexit.

'The fact that over a third of local companies remain undecided on this point also underlines the current uncertainty around how the business environment will change. The main thing businesses want is clarity.'


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Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, the survey indicates that the majority of Norfolk companies are still planning to invest over the next 12 months, even though just 29% feel trading conditions have improved on this time last year.

Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, the survey indicates that the majority of Norfolk companies are still planning to invest over the next 12 months, even though just 29% feel trading conditions have improved on this time last year.

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According to the poll results, almost two thirds (63%) of Norfolk firms say they are likely or very likely to make significant capital expenditure over the next 12 months, while 37% anticipate taking on more staff and 45% expect to at least maintain employee numbers.

A further 34% are considering acquisition over the next year as a strategy for growth whilst only 5% are likely to expand overseas.

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