Date Published: 27th June 2016

Following the much debated and controversial result of Britain’s vote to leave the EU, widely referred to as ‘Brexit’, a survey has found that many companies are likely to impose a hiring freeze.

According to the Institute of Directors a quarter of the 1000 members survey planned to freeze recruitment, with 5% planning to cut jobs and a third planning to continue hiring at the same pace.

On top of the results, almost two-thirds of IoD members said the vote had negative implications for their business.

Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, told the BBC that business leaders are very, very concerned, with almost half of them expecting the other member states to punish Britain.

Mr Walker also told prospective leaders of the Conservative party: “Businesses have a clear message to those who may wish to replace David Cameron as prime minister: during the referendum campaign we were promised an open and outward-looking country after Brexit, now it must be delivered.”

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who campaigned to remain in the EU, made a public announcement on Sunday in which he emphasised the importance of protecting Britain’s access to the single market. On the day, HSBC announced that if the UK were to leave the single market, the institution planned to move up to 1,000 staff from London to Paris.  Two days previous, sources told the BBC that up to 2,000 jobs at Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, could be moved from London to Dublin or Frankfurt.

Other banks may also make a similar move if the current passport arrangement is lost; this arrangement allows banks to do business across Europe without separate authorisation for individual countries. The passport is widely used by all types of financial firms in the EU as well as companies from outside the European Economic Area; if the banking passport is no longer available to UK-based firms, some operations would have to shift to a location inside the European Economic Area.


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