More than a third of hauliers (35%) have felt an effect from Britain's decision to quit the EU, according to a new survey.

The figure is taken from the latest quarterly survey of more than 900 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) conducted by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

By comparison, when all UK SMEs covered by the survey were asked if they’d experienced any impact from the UK's referendum vote, just 24% said they had.

The latest Close Brothers Business Barometer also found that 56% of SMEs had experienced no effect (compared with half of haulage firms), while 20% of SMEs said it was too early to tell (compared with 15% of hauliers).

Where an effect has been felt, the barometer found a split in responses as to whether it had been a negative or positive one for the affected businesses.

“It’s clear that the majority of UK SMEs are yet to feel any real and tangible effect from Brexit,” said Neil Davies, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance.

“It’s interesting to note that of those who have been effected, it’s pretty much split down the middle in terms of those who have been positively and detrimentally affected.

“There is also a real regional difference, with businesses in London feeling the most exposed,” he said.


Of the firms surveyed, Greater London was the region most likely to delay spending, with nearly half (48%) of all-industry respondents suggesting that the vote to leave had prevented them from investing.

Regions most likely to answer 'no' to the question ‘have you delayed any spending or investment decisions because of the EU referendum?’ were East Anglia (87%), Wales (90%) and Northern Ireland (90%).