More middle market businesses in the North East and Yorkshire believe their businesses still need to lobby the government on Brexit, according to the fourth quarterly YouGov survey, the Brexit Monitor, commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

Over the last three months, the findings show a 329 per cent increase in regional businesses highlighting they still need to lobby the government to influence the Brexit conversation in order to feel adequately prepared for Brexit.

In addition, confidence among North East and Yorkshire businesses about the long-term impact of Brexit has improved since the end of last year. RSM’s Brexit Monitor index, in which any reading above 100 indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic, showed that sentiment about the impact on their business over a five-year period rose from 90 in December 2017 to 104 in March 2018, reflecting a positive shift in sentiment at the start of the year.

However, this increase in confidence is still behind other regions. In contrast, businesses in the North West saw more positive conditions ahead for their business in the long term, with a sentiment of 118 – highlighting a divergence in views across the Pennines.

The quarterly survey also highlighted that almost half (49 per cent) of North East and Yorkshire businesses are confident about the UK government securing a ‘good deal’ – which is an increase from 31 per cent to 49 per cent over three months.

Kevin O’Connor, RSM’s regional managing partner in the North East and Yorkshire, said: ‘It’s interesting to see more regional businesses planning to lobby the government to ensure that North East and Yorkshire views are heard, and acknowledged, as part of the Brexit negotiations.

‘Optimism on the future prospects of Brexit has been low in the region; but this proactive approach could explain the uplift in positive sentiment on the business impact of Brexit, and whether we’ll get a good deal. Actively influencing the Brexit conversation is key to ensuring a strong economic outlook for the region, and engaging in key discussions and initiatives, such as the Northern Powerhouse, could help to drive positive change.