A survey conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) has found that nearly a third of IoD members are looking to move their operations abroad due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The survey of 1,202 company directors also revealed that more small firms are looking to relocate than previously anticipated. 15% of small firms are 'actively considering' setting up operations outside of the UK. Furthermore, 8% of small businesses have already relocated overseas, while 4% plan on doing so.
Of those looking to relocate, 69% stated that they plan on setting up operations in the EU; 22% are considering setting up in both EU and non-EU countries; and 7% are seeking to relocate to non-EU countries.
Commenting on the survey, Edwin Morgan, Interim Director General of the IoD, said: 'While the actions of big companies have been making headlines, these figures suggest that smaller enterprises are increasingly considering taking the serious step of moving some operations abroad.
'We still have a chance to stem the flow, and provide enough certainty to the firms that are considering moving but haven't yet done so.
'The UK's hard-won reputation as a stable, predictable environment for enterprise is being chipped away. Our political leaders must keep this in the front of their minds as we enter this critical phase of negotiations.'