Parliamentary Snapshot 2017: Press Coverage


Together with YouGov and Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, we looked at what MPs thought would be the impact of various Brexit deal scenarios for entrepreneurs. We asked a sample of Conservative and Labour MPs what deal they believe will be best for Britain’s innovators. The results are in and it looks like interesting reading. And the media thought so too…

Hard Brexit will be Good for Entrepreneurs, say two-thirds of Tory MPs (The Times: The Brief)

Politicians Could use a Business Lesson from UK Entrepreneurs (City AM)

Two-thirds of Tory MPs think UK Entrepreneurs Would Benefit from a Hard Brexit (Elite Business)

British Entrepreneurs Have Choice of Hard Brexit or High Taxes (Forbes)

MPs Need to be More Enterprising to win the Hearts of Innovators (Adam Smith Blog)

In case you didn’t read the report, here’s a summary.

Tories overwhelmingly (66%) want a ‘Hard Brexit, Labour want to remain in the EU – only 8% of Labour MPs want a ‘Hard Brexit’. And this is puts the MPs at loggerheads with their leadership
Almost a third of Labour MPs think decreasing business taxes would be bad for entrepreneurship, compared to 0% of Conservatives.

Two-thirds (66%) of Tory MPs, but just 8% of Labour MPs, thought a “hard” Brexit would be best for entrepreneurship in the UK. That’s the finding of a new YouGov poll of MPs, commissioned by The Entrepreneurs Network and Bircham Dyson Bell, released today.

In contrast, over two-thirds (71%) of Labour MPs thought it would be positive for entrepreneurship if we remain in the EU, with just 10% of Conservative MPs thinking it would be positive. The stark differences between Conservative and Labour elected politicians show the different moods that exist within the House of Commons and stand in contrast to the positions of their leaders.

This is the fourth annual Parliamentary Snapshot produced by The Entrepreneurs Network and Bircham Dyson Bell. As in previous years, Labour MPs are more likely to favour supporting schemes that come with increased government spending, while Tory MPs favour cutting taxes.

The greatest divergence between the two main parties was on the question of whether lowering personal taxes would be good for entrepreneurship in the UK. While 91% of Conservative MPs thought it would have a positive effect, just 26% of Labour MPs thought likewise, with 30% thinking it would be negative for entrepreneurship.

However, the parties are more united in their support for making it easier for entrepreneurs to move to the UK (79% of MPs are positive and just 4% negative), as well as making it easier to hire skilled workers from abroad (62% of MPs are positive and 14% negative). 70% of Labour MPs support making it easier for firms to hire skilled workers from abroad, up from 53% when we first undertook this survey in 2014. Half (50%) of Conservative MPs support making it easier for firms to hire skilled workers from abroad, up from 40% in 2014.

When asked what they thought about specific initiatives MPs were also aligned, with Business Rates Relief getting positive responses from 78% of all MPs, Enterprise Zones saw support from 75% of respondents and 70% favourable to the Regional Growth Fund.

Although we have seen improvements in knowledge among MPs, large numbers of the schemes remain unknown. Over half, 54%, of the MPs have never heard of Venture Capital Trusts or don’t know enough about it to know whether it’s effective, while 61% have either never heard of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or don’t know enough about it to know whether it’s effective. SEIS offers tax relief on investing in smaller companies and is seen as critical for entrepreneurship in the UK.