Award-winning chartered accountancy firm Milsted Langdon has invited businesses across the South West to attend free seminars on the potential impact of Britain remaining in the EU – or leaving it.
The firm has held events in Bristol, Bath, London, Taunton and Yeovil to offer local business leaders access to impartial advice from Milsted Langdon’s Consultant Economist Kevin Butler on how an exit from Europe might affect the South West – and the UK.
Milsted Langdon’s London office hosted a dinner on HMS Belfast on 5 May, attended by local business leaders, a trade commissioner and other influential professionals.
Local businesses and clients including solicitors, SMEs and financial service providers have shown great interest in the seminars with up to 50 professionals from a range of sectors attending each seminar.
Milsted Langdon will host its final session in Bristol on 24 May in a bid to reach more individuals and organisations wishing to learn how they might be affected by either referendum outcome.
Kevin Butler’s Bank of England work has created strong links with the South West and a pedigree that qualify him to judge critically how economic and business factors are likely to alter in the region, and nationally, if Britain’s EU status changes.
His EU Referendum: Myths, Legends, Opinions and Facts seminar outlines the carefully examined pros and cons for businesses of remaining in the EU or seceding from Brussels.
Points raised from the floor at each seminar covered a wide range of immediate and long term concerns voiced by businesses of differing sizes and perspectives, and their own preferences on remaining withiin or outside the EU.
‘Raised hand’ polls at each seminar indicated that a significant majority of delegates were in favour of Britain retaining EU membership.
Kevin commented: “I am delighted that my seminars have been so well attended and received. They have stimulated intense and diverse conversations on Britain’s place in – or out of – the EU.
“I am convinced they have raised the understanding of the potential impact of either scenario for local business people and Milsted Langdon’s clients and professional contacts. The discussions to date have been thought-provoking and I hope they will assist those who attended to make a clear and informed voting decision in next month’s referendum.
“The South West’s business community has a wealth of knowledge and insight to which I hope to add – and from which Milsted Langdon and I will also benefit.”
Milsted Langdon also conducted an EU – In or Out poll involving more than 250 South West SMEs. The results showed the clear majority wanted Britain to remain part of the EU with 59 per cent of poll respondents backing this option. Thirty six per cent backed Brexit, and five per cent felt unable to make an adequately informed decision.
SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy with a total annual turnover of more than £1.8 trillion. They employ more than 15 million people, accounting for 60 per cent of all private sector employment in the UK.
Jonathan Langdon, Milsted Langdon Chairman, said: “The outcome of the EU Referendum will potentially have enormous impact on SMEs across all sectors.
“While many British SMEs have real concerns about the EU and wish to leave, the results indicate the Leave Campaign still has some way to go in convincing SMEs in the South West that Brexit would not be detrimental to its trade with the rest of Europe.
“Milsted Langdon supports all its clients with high quality expert tax and finance advice and customer care. We have prepared for either referendum outcome and are here to help our clients to do the same with their businesses.”