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28 September 2015

Two major british business organizations call on Cameron to push forward EU reform

BCC and IoD unveiled the results of surveys that showed that the renegotiation of the terms of UK membership in the EU will be key to the business vote in the forthcoming EU referendum.

BCC: Cameron’s EU reform package key to business vote

Half (50%) of the senior businesspeople polled in a major new British Chambers of Commerce survey have revealed that the concessions the Prime Minister brings back from Brussels will have an impact on their voting intentions in the upcoming EU referendum. [...]

If an in-out referendum were to be held tomorrow, 63% of businesspeople would vote to remain in the European Union, 27% would vote to leave, and 10% are unsure.  Yet fully 50% said their vote could change depending on David Cameron’s renegotiation package.

The survey polled over 2,000 senior business leaders from all sectors, regions and all company sizes during August 2015. Highlights – including business understanding, impacts, and priorities – are detailed below.

Full press release

IoD calls on all parties to accept need for EU reform

The referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union will be the biggest political event of the next five years. With politicians and the public split on the issue, British business will be a prominent voice in the debate. The Institute of Directors today [Monday] publishes the most comprehensive study to date of what its members think about the EU, and why.

Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, lays out the IoD’s position: [...]

“On balance, IoD members think the benefits of staying in the EU outweigh the negatives, but half have not yet decided how they will vote. Europe is currently struggling to deal with the many challenges it faces. The refugee crisis and the uncertainty over Greece’s future may be the immediate issues dominating the discussions of EU leaders, but the underlying problem is a lack of economic competitiveness. [...]

A survey of 1,259 IoD members, who lead businesses of every size, from every sector and operating in every part of the United Kingdom, conducted between 23rd April and 7th May 2015, found that: 

  • Two-thirds (65%) of IoD members agree with the statement “from my organisation’s perspective, the benefits of the UK remaining a full member of the EU outweigh the negatives”.
  • But only 13% think that the EU currently has a viable socio-economic model.
  • Half (51%) say the way they vote in the referendum will depend on what reforms David Cameron is able to achieve, with 40% intending to vote to remain under all circumstances, and 7% saying they will definitely vote to leave.
  • Businesses want Europe to focus more on securing trade deals and stay away from social and employment law, with over half (51%) saying that EU interventions on these areas were “unhelpful.”
  • Cuts to red tape, an amendment to the principle of “ever closer union” and measures to make the EU economy work better are the reform priorities for IoD members.
  • Six in ten (61%) IoD members say that the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union will create uncertainty for their business, but a slim majority (51%) still back the prime minister’s decision to hold the referendum.

Full press release

© BCC - British Chambers of Commerce

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