On June 23 the UK voted to leave the European Union. Both during the referendum campaign and after the vote, IPSE has been active in ensuring the views of the self-employed are heard at the highest level. IPSE Chief Executive Chris Bryce met with David Cameron before the referendum to represent members’ views, and presented ‘IPSE’s six point plan to make Brexit work’ to Theresa May shortly after she became Prime Minister. As part of our new relationship with the EU, IPSE calls on Government to:

  1. Ensure continued access to the single market and embrace global free trade
  2. Remove the burden of regulation on small business
  3. Build infrastructure to support growth
  4. Reform taxation for a more flexible economy
  5. Champion self-employment as a career choice
  6. Respect views across the United Kingdom

IPSE will continue to hold Government to account to ensure the self-employed are high on the agenda during the negotiations with the EU on our new relationship. These negotiations will start when Government formally triggers Article 50, from which point there will be two years to finalise a deal and secure new trade agreements with other markets. During this time all EU laws will continue to apply to the UK. 

Unless there is unanimous agreement between Member States to extend the negotiating period, the UK will either have to accept the terms of the new deal or be subject to World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs and rules. The final deal will require Treaty change following ratification by a qualified majority of the Council, and a majority vote in the European Parliament and the remaining 27 national parliaments. 

Before the Vote

During referendum campaign, IPSE remained neutral. However, in order to shape our approach, we surveyed our members in both August 2015 and March 2016, providing them with a EU referendum guide

In August 2015, there was a clear majority behind voting to remain in the EU (61.2 per cent), with only 23.9 per cent saying they would vote to leave. The remaining 9.9 per cent were either unsure or would not be voting.

Members were surveyed again after former Prime Minster David Cameron renegotiated the UK’s terms of membership of the EU. Remain stayed in the lead (49.4 per cent), however with a notable swing toward Leave (40.6 per cent), with 10 per cent still unsure or choosing not to vote.