The upcoming EU referendum is a subject at the front of virtually everyone’s mind in the UK. It has become even more pronounced in British public life following the emergence of a divided cabinet and celebrity advocacy. Brexit-talk has even brought the most unlikely of allies together, with Nigel Farage and George Galloway putting their enormous differences aside.
A significant part of the debate on whether the UK should leave the EU rests on the economic benefits and risks that remaining or leaving potentially carry. Organisations like the IMF and The Treasury have warned that Britain could face a number of economic problems should it choose to leave, ranging from costlier imports to higher mortgage rates. On the other hand, the leave campaign has been quick to state that the potential fallout from the Brexit has been overstated – and that it could even benefit Britain’s economic competitiveness.
The economic argument is likely to be very influential with voters, and in the absence of a decisive outlook one way or the other, specialist finance recruiter Marks Sattin decided to ask for accountants’ views on the subject as part of their latest salary survey. The results show that 50% of accountants believe remaining would be better for the economy, compared to 14% who think leaving would be better, 17% opt for a ‘third way’ (membership of the European Economic Area without formal vote over EU rules) and 19% are unsure. The way the profession will vote remains to be seen, with many voters heavily influenced by other factors like immigration and sovereignty.
Marks Sattin’s 2016 Market Insight indicates that this uncertainty is impacting finance professionals with just 24% of those surveyed feeling more confident about their company’s performance over the next 12 months. However, there is greater confidence when it comes to earnings, with 71% of accountants expecting a salary increase.
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