British business has found its voice once more in the wake of Friday’s general election, and is using it to call for a softer Brexit.
Businesses are now willing to reopen the subject of the type of Brexit that is in the economic interests of the UK after Theresa May failed to demonstrate there is public support for her vision of a hard Brexit in the election.
An in-depth survey of small businesses undertaken by researchers for Harvard University revealed “almost all” business leaders wanted to retain membership of the single market and customs union to ease trade with the EU and countries with trade agreements with the EU. These account for 61 per cent of UK goods and services exports.
“Contrary to much of the media and political commentary, the majority of businesses . . . were broadly satisfied with current regulatory approaches in their sectors . . . many spoke to the overall quality of EU regulations and rulemaking processes,” the report said.
Markets around Asia were trending lower on Monday as investors responded to a sharp drop in US tech stocks on Friday and the UK election result that delivered a hung parliament. Tokyo’s Topix was flat, but the Nikkei 225 was down 0.6 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 1.2 per cent. Markets in Australia were shut for a public holiday.
Futures tip the FTSE 100 to shed 0.5 per cent at the open in London, while the S&P 500 is expected to dip 0.1 per cent when trading begins in New York.
The economic calendar for Monday speaks for itself (all times London):
- 08.00: Turkey Q1 GDP
- 08.00: Denmark consumer price index
- 09.00: Italy industrial production
- 10.00: Turkey current account balance