UK’s small and medium business leaders want to stay in EU

Majority of business owners believe exit would have negative impact on UK and EU economies

75% of UK business owners want the UK to stay in the European Union (EU) with a negative impact predicted if an exit were to take place.

The findings, reported in a new survey by The European Business Awards, surveyed business leaders from 32 countries across Europe and found that, of the European companies outside the UK,  90% think the UK should stay in the EU.

In the UK specifically, 69% of British entrepreneurs think an EU exit would have negative consequences for the UK economy while 76% said it would have an adverse effect on the EU economy.

Key reasons cited by UK respondents that wanted to stay in the EU were the economic advantages granted by membership such as a strong trading position, free market, access to talent and greater commercial opportunities.

Reasons provided by the other European countries included the role the UK can play to influence the EU and counter larger countries.

In contrast, 23% of the UK’s small and medium business owners said they felt the UK should exit the EU because of high costs, bureaucracy, damage to the UK’s identity and a lack of belief in the EU.

As to the value of EU membership, 84% of European business leaders asserted that their country’s membership of the EU has had a positive impact on their business, their country (83%) and them personally (79%).

The European Business Awards CEO, Adrian Tripp, said of the findings:

“These strong results show that for the European business community the case for the EU is clear; the benefits far outweigh the costs. From a business perspective, people see the value in the commercial opportunities; from a wider perspective, stability and integration are key.”

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