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Nearly three quarters of freelancers and micro-businesses in the UK are against a Brexit, according to new research by cloud accounting provider FreeAgent.

Seventy-three per cent of those surveyed said that they were not in favour of leaving the European Union, and 72% believe a Brexit would have a negative impact on the UK economy.

Just 5% said leaving the EU would have a positive impact on their business. In contrast, almost half (49%) said Brexit would likely have a negative effect on their business and nearly a third (32%) said that it would have no impact.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “Freelancers and micro-businesses – ie, those with fewer than 10 employees – comprise around 95% of the UK’s total number of businesses, yet they are regularly overlooked when it comes to discussing issues that affect the UK economy. But it’s clear that they have some very strong feelings about the EU referendum.

“We’ve found that the majority of these smaller micro-business owners are actually in favour of the UK remaining in the EU, and more than half of them believe that Brexit will have a negative impact on their own businesses. The overwhelming majority also feel that leaving the EU will have a negative impact on the UK economy.

“Being a partner nation in the EU is hugely beneficial in terms of trade, and I think that’s something that resonates with a lot of our customers. We work with many web-based small businesses who are increasingly selling products and services worldwide rather than just domestically, and I suspect they think a Brexit will create an uncertain future for them.

“For tech companies, in particular, the EU also opens up the opportunity to hire world-class developers from Europe who can work alongside the best talent from the UK to create more sophisticated technology, develop better products and services and to help build bigger businesses.”