SEVERAL small businesses in Witney fear the potential impact of Brexit on their company, new figures show.

None of the eight firms in the town who responded to a nationwide survey, Brexit Impact on Small Businesses, were positive when asked about their prospects after Britain leaves the European Union.

They cited a range of worries, including recruitment, imports and the impact of high business rates in the post-Brexit landscape.

But Witney MP Robert Courts has slammed the survey, which was compiled and reported by pro-Remain organisations Best for Britain, Open Britain, and European Movement.

The Brexit-backing MP called the data unrepresentative and criticised the results for showing a 'clear political agenda'.

One business owner who responded to the survey was Rosa Ashby, who has run Rosa Flowers in Witney for more than 20 years.

Last month, the successful florist told anti-Brexit group Oxford for Europe she had 'no concept' of what she will do after Brexit, and on Monday called it 'devastating'.

She said: “We buy nearly 100 per cent of our goods from Holland so it will be devastating if we leave the EU.

“I’ve said all along that the government make the decisions and we have to face with the consequences.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen - we’re dealing with goods that don’t have a shelf life.”

Brexit is scheduled to be finalised on March 29, 2019, with Prime Minister Theresa May's draft Brexit agreement set to be rubber-stamped by a special European council meeting this weekend.

But of the 350 firms surveyed in Brexit Impact on Small Businesses, 78 per cent were pessimistic about their prospects after leaving the EU.

One of the questions was ‘How do you feel about the prospects for your business or organisation after Brexit?’, with five options from 'very pessimistic' to 'very optimistic'.

Of the Witney respondents, six said they were ‘very pessimistic’, one was ‘pessimistic’ and another ‘neither’.

One business believed exports would be affected by losing the 'CE' mark on medical equipment, but another was worried about personal implications.

The comment read: “Brexit will not only impact my business badly from a recruitment and cost perspective but it will have a direct impact on my family too.”

Madley Park resident Ben Molyneaux founded business networking organisations The Oxfordshire Project and Mahwe, which work with dozens of small businesses across the county.

Mr Molyneaux said around half of Mahwe members were European and believes Brexit uncertainty is already affecting them.

He said: "Our European members aren’t sure whether they’re going to be told if they can run their business here.

“They seem to be the most unsettled and unsure about the situation.”

Witney has a high number of independent businesses and many have previously expressed concern at high business rates in the town.

One such store is Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre, and owner John Saunders believes small businesses are already suffering due to Brexit-related uncertainty.

He said: "Until we get a Brexit result, we are in a dip with no exit.

"Witney High Street is vibrant and brings people in from many areas and other towns aren't so lucky.

"Our business is a hobby business as well as make do and mend, so things are bright, but the longer it takes to recover shops will sink further, so let's go for it and start our recovery."

This more optimistic outlook has been reflected by Mr Courts, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Small and Micro Business.

The Witney MP hit out at the survey and believes it does not reflect the views of many small businesses in the area.

He said: "I simply do not recognise the pessimistic attitude towards Brexit that has been identified by this survey, which is taken from a very small sample and is organised by three organisations which are openly campaigning to reverse our withdrawal from the European Union in opposition to a national referendum.

"These 'results' are therefore hardly representative and have a clear political agenda.

“The vast majority of small businesses I meet are far more concerned about shaping their business for the future, securing access to skills, to finance, and adapting to the growth of online shopping – issues I am pleased to say the Government is taking decisive action on."

But Martin Airey, a Witney resident and member of the town's People’s Vote group, argued there was 'no intentional bias'.

He said: “Even though this was organised by pro-remain organisations, there was no preferential selection of business type, and there was no knowledge of how each of the respondents voted in the referendum prior to the results of the survey being received.

“Every company in the local business directories with valid email addresses were used to compile the email list.

“Local networking groups were simply asked to forward the link on to all their members. There was therefore no intentional bias in the sample."