The consequences of the referendum on membership of the EU will affect the UK economy, demographics, political system and society as a whole for years to come. Experts give their views on what they think will happen next, and how the UK might look in future.

ERC Director Mark Hart contributed to a special feature of the ESRC Society Now magazine.

An Entrepreneurial Perspective: What will be the effect of Brexit on small-to-medium sized UK businesses?

A LEAP INTO THE unknown is the consequence of what the majority of UK voters chose on 23 June irrespective of their individual motivations as they cast their vote. As we extract ourselves from the EU, our direction of travel as an economy enters the realms of crystal ball gazing. Commentators latch on to the latest ‘piece of evidence’ as proof positive that either economic meltdown or a new golden era of economic growth has commenced. The ‘experts’ ply their trade and spin a weekly narrative as we watch Whitehall grapple with this brave new world. After the vote the only thing we can confidently state is that the impact of Brexit is unknown and cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty. So what can we be certain of? Well, Enterprise Research Centre research shows that there is a very small proportion of the UK business population (around 12,000 businesses growing at 20 per cent per annum over a three-year period which the OECD calls ‘High-Growth Firms’) that have had a disproportionate impact on job creation over the last 16 years and, as a consequence, on the economy as a whole.