£108m to support small firms through no deal Brexit? Not enough, cries FSB

Martin McTague of the FSB

The Government’s promise of £108 million of funding for no deal Brexit preparations among small firms isn’t enough, according to FSB Policy and Advocacy Chairman Martin McTague.

He says many small businesses are desperately under-prepared for a chaotic no deal Brexit on 31 October and will happily accept any new funding to help them prepare.

“However, this offer desperately underestimates the support that small businesses need. £108 million compared to the wider circa £6 billion package does not really cut it, and we urgently need more information about what this money is actually for: what kind of support will it fund? How many small businesses will be able to access it? When will they be able to access it?

“It is welcome but not enough. We need the Government to recognise how much help our small firms actually need to prepare for a cliff edge no deal in less than three months’ time. More money is being spent on advertising for a public information campaign than on helping the small businesses that underpin our economy.

“The Government should now urgently provide support for all small firms that will be impacted by a sudden no deal Brexit. That means making Brexit vouchers of up to £3,000 available to small firms, while automatically issuing Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers to all VAT-registered small firms that trade exclusively with the EU.

“The focus should then return to striking a pro-business deal with the EU. One that leads to a comprehensive trade agreement and secures a much-needed transition period. A reckless and sudden no deal exit on the 31 October will be felt most by small businesses.”