Majority of business leaders will vote to stay in EU, survey shows

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Majority of business leaders will vote to stay in EU, survey shows

Snap poll of IoD members, who represent a broad cross-section of UK businesses, reveals that six in 10 will vote to remain in the EU in June’s referendum

A poll by the Institute of Directors has shown that six in 10 business leaders will vote for the UK to remain in the European Union in the 23 June referendum.

The survey of 672 IoD members, conducted immediately following last week’s European Summit – which concluded with David Cameron announcing a package of reforms to Britain’s EU membership – revealed that 60 per cent will vote for the UK to remain a member of the EU, while 31 per cent indicated they would vote to leave the EU and 9 per cent responded that they currently don’t know how they intend to vote.

On the subject of the reforms agreed in Brussels, 54 per cent felt that they would make no difference either way to their organisations, while 27 per cent felt they would have a “fairly good” impact. A total of 10 per cent indicated that the reforms would have a negative impact on their businesses.

IoD director general Simon Walker urged business leaders to carefully consider the impact either outcome in the EU referendum would have on their companies. “The Prime Minister has fought hard for this deal and has secured positive changes, in particular on reducing the burden of pointless or excessive red tape,” he said.

“Businesses will weigh up the reforms when considering the pros and cons of EU membership as they decide how to vote at the referendum.

“The issue is of course much larger than this agreement. Our members have concerns about the way the EU operates in some areas.

“But this is balanced against the ability to trade easily across the single market. Their operations are deeply entwined with the European Union – more than three-quarters have commercial links with other member states.

“It is worrying that 4 in 10 firms have not discussed the referendum in the boardroom. Now that a date has been set, all firms should consider what the potential outcomes would mean for them.”

More on the EU

For the full survey results click here

IoD members can take part in future surveys by joining the Policy Voice panel – click here for more information

About author

Chris Maxwell

Chris Maxwell

Director’s editor spent nine years interviewing TV and film stars for Sky before joining the IoD in 2011 and turning the microphone on Britain’s business leaders. Since then he’s grilled everyone from Boris to Branson and, away from work, maintains an unhealthy obsession with lower league football.

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