Legislation and regulations that affect business often originate in Brussels. That's why IPSE, as the trade association that represents the UK’s very smallest businesses, became increasingly active in Europe in recent years. Although the UK will leave the European Union, the EU will remain our largest export market, with one in ten IPSE members working overseas and many more engaged in projects along a cross-border supply chain or as the result of Foriegn Direct Investment from Europe.
What we are doing
As the Brexit negotiations push ahead, the voice of the UK’s 4.8 million self-employed must be heard. In this time of uncertainty, protecting the flexibility and dynamism of the UK’s economy is more important than ever – yet negotiations so far have focused on the concerns of bigger businesses. Following the UK's decision to leave the EU, IPSE has put forward its ideas to make a Brexit that works both for self-employed people and our economy at large.
Brexit is an increasing worry for the self-employed. At the end of 2017, 61% of freelancers saw the result of the EU referendum as the main factor negatively influencing their business performance – overtaking government policy for the first time.
The self-employed want a soft Brexit that causes minimal disruption. Single market access and the free movement of skilled professionals across the EU should be prioritised by the government in negotiations. A large proportion of the self-employed (60%) would also like to see a transitional period after 2019.
As the UK plots its path through Brexit, the government should recognise the central role the self-employed will play in taking us through this turbulent period. This means taking steps to ensure Britain is a country that works for freelancers - particularly through its tax and welfare system, and easily accesible training options.