British businesses support the idea of the UK becoming a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) after leaving the European Union.
This is according to a new survey of 1,254 small businesses in Britain carried out by Funding Circle, which revealed that 57 per cent of small business owners are supportive of joining EFTA, compared to only 15 per cent who oppose the idea.
EFTA currently consists of four European states - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - that are not EU members, but are able to participate in the European single market. The UK was previously a member before joining the European Economic Community.
When asked about their reasons for supporting EFTA membership, 59 per cent of those polled cited the ease of exporting and importing, while 46 per cent were most interested in having a larger customer base and 42 per cent were attracted by the idea of lower tariffs.
James Meekings, Funding Circle's co-founder and UK managing director, said: "It's evident that joining EFTA is a priority within the small business community, and it's important that we listen to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome for their growth and success."