Small businesses have created 10 times more jobs than the big firms that are campaigning to keep Britain in the European Union’s Single Market, new figures reveal.
The information, compiled by the House of Commons Library, show that small businesses, which rely much less on the Single Market, have created some 3.4 million new private sector jobs in the past 15 years, compared to 323,000 for big business.
The Mail reports that Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke, who requested the figures, said they disprove the “single market lies” spouted by the Confederation for British Industry (CBI).
Carolyn Fairbairn, the group’s Chief Executive, is a leading figure calling for so-called “Soft Brexit” where Britain stays inside the Single Market, keeping much of the EU’s regulations. She said Britain was heading for a “cliff edge” if it leaves the Market.
However, only around six per cent of UK companies export to the EU, while the proportion of Brits employed by smaller private firms has gone up from 55 per cent to 60 per cent.
“Small businesses depend least on the EU Single Market. Yet they have created ten times more jobs than big businesses,” Mr Elphicke said.
“These figures nail the lie being peddled by the CBI and their corporate chums that the EU single market is the be all and end all for British jobs. Labour and Lib Dems need to accept we are leaving the EU and get behind the British people.
“It’s clear that big businesses have not been the UK’s job creators for 15 years. The Treasury and Bank of England should do more to support the small business job creators and accept that the Single Market is not all it’s cracked up to be.
“We must build a Brexit Britain that is an aspiration nation – where we back the entrepreneurs, innovators and wealth generators who create the jobs.”
The calls for a “Soft Brexit” come despite EU President Donald Tusk specifically ruling it out.
Speaking earlier this year, he said: “I think it is useless to speculate about ‘soft Brexit’.
“In my opinion, the only real alternative to a ‘hard Brexit’ is ‘no Brexit’.