Just one in five UK managers are in favour of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’


With the general election looming ever closer, UK managers are making it clear what they want to see from the government. Only 19% of managers want to see a ‘hard Brexit’ according to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The research found that the worries managers had regarding Brexit stemmed from over a third (34%) stating that their quality of work had declined in the last 12 months. Similarly, 32% of managers have been working longer hours and 48% have seen an increase in their workload.

This has resulted in 41% of managers revealing they are more stressed and less motivated than they were before the referendum.

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, commented: “The Brexit referendum has clouded the UK economy with uncertainty, and this has had a massive impact on the effectiveness of managers to deliver strong business performance. The quality of working life and health of managers is important, and uncertainty and stress is a productivity killer. We ask our political leaders to give UK managers clarity and invest in the skills they need to deliver.”

Nearly half (43%) of managers who were surveyed want a deal that secures access to the single market while also maintaining the freedom of movement. The top five priorities for UK managers from a new government are:

  1. Securing trade deals with non-EU countries (66%)
  2. Maintaining access to EU talent by guaranteeing the rights of existing residents (58%).
  3. Investing in capital infrastructure (53%)
  4. Maintaining investment in the Apprenticeship Levy (30%)
  5. Promoting UK higher education as an export (27%)

The announcement of the snap election came as surprise to most UK managers and with that surprise came a level of uncertainty. More than a third of managers (36%) think the decision to have an election will have a negative impact on their organisation over the next 12 months.

Francke continued “Political leaders looking for a strong mandate from this election must consider the views of UK’s 3.2 million managers, who are key drivers of the UK’s productivity. Managers have serious concerns about continued access to skilled workers, and this is motivating the desire for free movement of people Post-Brexit. All parties should focus post-election on the need to build an internationally competitive economy based on a world-class skilled workforce.”