Businesses Want UK to Stay in Europe

Businesses Want UK to stay in EuropeMost businesses want to stay in Europe according to the latest CBI/YouGOV Survey….

A survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and YouGov has found that as many as 8 in 10 CBI members said they wanted the UK to remain a part of the European Union.

With 400 CBI members polled 78% of those businesses were in favour of continued EU membership. 77% of SMEs also wanted the country to remain as part of the European economic bloc.

Conversely, 10% of big businesses, and 11% of SMEs, thought it was best for the UK to get out of Europe.

When asked about which aspects of EU membership weighted most heavily upon their businesses, it was EU regulations and particularly employment law that were considered to be holding back British business.

However, on balance, UK firms thought that the positives of being part of Europe outweighed the negatives.

One major draw of EU membership was that businesses believed they had better access to markets, allowing for increased trade between the UK and Europe.

Other benefits of EU membership included being ablt to trade in the EU without additional taxes and tariffs, being able to recruit and move staff across the region and the commonality of product standards across the EU.

Leaving the EU would not only damage trade but would also affect investment and make the country less competitive. UK businesses were concerned about employment levels and access to skilled workers in particular.

EU Reform

Britain’s businesses did say that wished the relationship could be reformed.

Highest on the agenda for reforming the EU is an end to the "gold plating" of EU law with 46% of businesses calling for an end to this.

Second, businesses wanted to see EU rules applied equally across all member states [Does this inlcude the "UK rebate"? – Ed]

Next, the polled businesses wish to see reduced regulation and strictural refomrs to make the EU more competitive.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said of the findings:

“This sends a clear message that most CBI members, big and small, support UK membership of the EU.”

“Firms want what is best for jobs and growth, and there is genuine concern that an exit would hit business investment and access to the world’s largest trading bloc.”

“The UK should take the lead on the push for reform and make sure rules are evenly applied across the EU. Businesses are also concerned about the UK gold-plating legislation from Brussels.”

“Businesses do have some serious concerns about the EU, but ultimately they want the UK inside the tent winning the argument for reform.”

For the full details, take a look at the YouGov/CBI Survey Results (PDF)

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