EU referendum: Brexit could cause turmoil for more than half of small businesses in London who are relying on a workforce that comes from across the EU

 
Hayley Kirton
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"The consequences of the UK leaving the EU would be catastrophic for small businesses" (Source: Getty)

A Brexit could be bad news for more than half of small businesses in London who are counting on migrant workers to keep them up and running, according to a specialist accounting firm.

"We do the accounting for several hundred small businesses in London, with more than half of them relying on a workforce that includes staff from across the EU," explained Chris Conway, managing director of Accounts and Legal. "The consequences of the UK leaving the EU would be catastrophic for small businesses, including our own."

Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 257,000 people immigrated to the UK from the EU in the year to September 2015, with many arriving on British shores for work-related reasons.

Meanwhile, a study released last year by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills discovered that workplaces with staff from a mix of cultural backgrounds benefited from more innovation, a stronger variety of skills and enhanced knowledge sharing.

Read more: Tony Blair says Brexit could lead to the break up of the UK

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron set the date for the EU referendum as 23 June.

However, another survey released today by the Federation of Small Businesses discovered that many small business owners are still yet to make their minds up about their feelings towards EU membership, with just less than half (42 per cent) saying that they could still be swayed.

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