Search Magnifying Glass

How will leaving the EU affect contractors?

The EU referendum has been proposed for June this year, after Cameron pledged to hold a vote on the UK’s EU membership as part of his election.

Most recent polls conducted by YouGov, present a record high support for remaining in the EU with 45% saying that they would vote to remain in the EU, and 35% saying that they would opt out.

EU Referendum

The biggest argument for staying within the EU, is the current free market among member countries, and the potential impact on the UK’s economy if we were to remove access to this. Of course, we will still be able to trade with the same countries, but renegotiations would need to be made to trade agreements, and costs would likely be incurred, mostly effecting small businesses who may not have the funds to deal with the change, and thus lose competitiveness in the marketplace.

The majority of UK professional contractors work within the UK and are not involved in importing or exporting internationally, however, end clients may well be effected by this economic disintegration with EU countries, which may ultimately affect their ability to take on projects and therefore leave a lack of demand for contractors. On the contrary, it could also result in a loss of permanent employment, and therefore an increase in using a flexible workforce to provide skills where and when it is needed.


On the other hand, an argument could be made that by not contributing to the EU, the government would save a large amount of money each year, which could be used, in part, to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship, and with more freedom, would open up more options for the UK’s global trade.

As part of the EU, we have the right to live, work, retire, and trade with any country in the union. Contractors who work abroad within the EU would be most affected, as our borders would go up and the right to travel and work freely across the EU would cease, meaning that visas would be required and contracts in these locations more difficult to obtain. If you were thinking of retiring in the sun whilst still receiving your UK pension and state healthcare, you might have to think again.

There are of course, many reasons why we may wish to stay within the EU, and many reasons why we may wish to leave.

Have your say and take the poll:

By Contractor Weekly

Comments

Add a comment

7 thoughts on “How will leaving the EU affect contractors?”

  1. giff

    Salary levels are deteriorating due to Engineers from the EU-mostly from Eastern Europe/Romania etc, who are landing jobs in the UK because they will work for peanuts as their salaries in their own country are so low. The main reasons why I want to leave the EU is the UK laws-are over-ruled by Brussels legislation-the immigrant crisis highlights the confusion and chaos between member states on this dilemma. What about future crises eg. security, NATO agreements, Turkey? What confusion awaits us if we stay in? It looks like the uncertainty is not with leaving as much as remaining and having to cajolle to the Hub country – Germany who are in a win-win situation whatever the outcome of the referendum

  2. P. E. Basford

    The article does not cover the fact there are 3 options – in, out but inside free trade zone, outside FTZ. The net cost of EU varies but in 2013 was £6.7bn. The value to the UK economy estimated by the CBI was about £70bn. 2.4m EU citizens were in EU but 2.2m UK were in Europe. The net contribution to treasury after social security etc was estimated at £34bn by EU citizens here who are younger and better educated than UK average population. Many UK citizens abroad are pensioners in Spain and south France who would cost the NHS a lot whereas average age of EU citizen here is 30 and they don’t use health services much. We get half of all EU inward investment for access to home market of 550 million of richest people on the planet (EU = 25% of planet’s GDP). Inward investment stops us having a crisis because of our very high balance of payments deficit. We have been gaining about 50,000 jobs a year for 50 years by speaking English, not having many strikes, making it easy to sack people and cheating on the EU rules. Contractors should not bank on benefiting from a recession? A balance of payments crisis, disinvestment from UK, losing financial sector product access to EU, loss of skilled workforce (working unsocial hours for low pay), losing £34bn a year for the treasury (+) and gaining pensioners is a mad idea. Most of the latest refugees are going to Germany! Against these concrete figures there is nothing but dreams for the benefits of leaving the EU? How come anyway, the other 27 countries of the EU can trade with the rest of the world inside the EU (with agreements negotiated as the most powerful block on the planet) but the UK can’t?

  3. M Webber

    I see only future risk to my contracting business from remaining in. The EU wants to “complete the single market in services” which means more areas of the economy come under the weight of Brussels regulation – do you really want the EC regulating the UK contracting industry?

    Tax harmonisation across the EU is another stated goal – how is that going to affect issues such as IR35? You won’t even be able to lobby your MP about it because it will all be decided by the technocrats in Brussels.

    We need to undertake a massive deregulation of our economy which is not possible as long as we remain within the single market. Free trade does not require membership of the single market – the EU has FTAs with dozens of countries around the world – we do not need to accept the Switzerland or Norway model in order to trade.

    Easy travel to the continent for business and tourism is desirable – but could be retained with a bilateral agreement.

    There is no downside to my business from leaving, but unknown regulatory risks from remaining in.

  4. Harry

    I find it astonishing that I do not get to partake in a decision that can have a profound influence on my life – I am a UK citizen who lives in Germany, I have no problem with the UK having a vote but they should allow all citizens to take part

  5. Malcolm Taylor

    They talk about free trade, can somebody explain this because as far as I can make out we pay a lot of pounds for this so-called free trade. Being part of the union has not worked and we should pull out. We dont really need to buy German cars, although they are nice ??

  6. Pedro

    [quote name=”M Webber”]I see only future risk to my contracting business from remaining in. The EU wants to “complete the single market in services” which means more areas of the economy come under the weight of Brussels regulation – do you really want the EC regulating the UK contracting industry?

    Tax harmonisation across the EU is another stated goal – how is that going to affect issues such as IR35? You won’t even be able to lobby your MP about it because it will all be decided by the technocrats in Brussels.

    We need to undertake a massive deregulation of our economy which is not possible as long as we remain within the single market. Free trade does not require membership of the single market – the EU has FTAs with dozens of countries around the world – we do not need to accept the Switzerland or Norway model in order to trade.

    Easy travel to the continent for business and tourism is desirable – but could be retained with a bilateral agreement.

    There is no downside to my business from leaving, but unknown regulatory risks from remaining in.[/quote]

    Yes, you have other agreements to travel within Europe, it calls Schengen, but I guess that is even more scary to you (and UK in general) then staying in the EU, cause you’re so obsessed by having control over your boarder!

  7. coralsoft

    [quote name=”Harry”]I find it astonishing that I do not get to partake in a decision that can have a profound influence on my life – I am a UK citizen who lives in Germany, I have no problem with the UK having a vote but they should allow all citizens to take part[/quote]

    You should have got a postal vote. You have to have been out for years to have lost a potential voting connection to your last UK location

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *