63% of business leaders think Britain is “better off” in EU

Latest Brexit poll from the Business Growth Fund shows that, while majority of founders want to stay in the EU, pro-Brexit support is growing

The majority of the UK’s small and medium-sized business owners want Britain to stay in the EU and believe that a potential exit (Brexit) would stifle business growth, according to a new survey by the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

The research – conducted between February to March 2016 with 320 business leaders – identified that 63% of company founders think Britain is “better off” in the EU but noted that this figure has dropped from 82% in June of last year; indicating that pro-Brexit business support is growing.

For the business owners that said they wanted Britain to leave the EU, the main reason for this was to rid British business of the EU’s “unnecessary and problematic” regulation.

On the flip side, 71% of the small business owners that were leaning towards Britain staying in the EU said that membership gave businesses “invaluable access” to European markets, while 47% of respondents said that a Brexit would prompt multinational companies to relocate their operations overseas.

What’s more, 71% of business owners said they felt a Brexit would trigger another Scottish independence referendum.

BGF chief executive, Stephen Welton, commented: “While the poll shows an uptick in support for Brexit among the business community, the majority remain in favour of staying in the EU.

“It’s also clear that despite uncertainty prompted by the vote, and economic instability overseas, British businesses remain committed to growth. In uncertain times it is crucial that businesses get the support they need to innovate, export, grow and prosper.

“BGF has made a very strong start to the year but we are carefully watching for signs of any slowdown in investment decision making.”

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