Research by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that small firms who hire EU staff are concerned about the impact of a no deal Brexit on their business.

It highlights the facts that that more than one fifth (21 per cent) of small employers currently have EU staff in their workforce and that of these, (61 per cent) believe that a no deal Brexit will have a negative impact on their short term business continuity.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) that think they would be impacted by a no deal Brexit say that they would cut staff in preparation for a no deal Brexit.

This should come as no surprise really. After all, small businesses are not immigration officers and should not be expected to undertake their job.

The reality is that many small businesses wouldn’t know where to start.

Most don’t have HR or legal departments to deal with complex immigration procedures.

Nor do they have the time or resources to deal with the additional administrative burden this would bring.

So far the Government has released more than fifty technical notes on No Deal. Yet none tells businesses what they will need to do if they hire staff from the EU or already have EU staff.

These businesses and their staff can’t move forward without knowing what they are planning for.

They need clear and concise direction from the Government about what our immigration system will look like, and how it will work if we are faced with a no deal Brexit.

They also need confirmation about how the settled status scheme will work for those EU nationals already in the UK.

Livelihoods, lives and business continuity are potentially at stake. It’s time we had more certainty about what a no-deal, worst case scenario could mean for small businesses.