89% of COBCOE members believe it's in the UK's best interests to remain in the EU

In the light of the forthcoming UK referendum on 23 June 2016, COBCOE asked its members for their views on the prospect of the UK withdrawing from the European Union (EU). COBCOE chambers represent around 8,000 businesses, large and small, operating mainly outside of the UK across Europe.

The results provide a unique and objective insight from business people in Europe who are engaged day-to-day in trading and investment with the UK. The overwhelming opinion from an important cross section of European business leaders, with no political agenda, is that, whilst acknowledging the need to work at EU shortcomings, it would be better for Britain for it to remain in the EU. The results of the poll are:

  • In aggregate, 89.3% members considered that, on balance, it would be in the best interests of the UK to stay in the EU and 7.1% stated that it would be better for the UK to withdraw from the EU

  • 92.9% agreed that the EU is a “work in progress” and needs to become more open, less bureaucratic, more competitive and responsive to the needs of the business community with 7.1% not stating an opinion

  • 85.7% thought withdrawal from the EU would make trade and investment between the UK and Europe more difficult with 3.6% believing it would help business and 10.7% stating that it would not make much difference; and

  • 92.9% of members would regret Britain leaving the EU with 7.1% welcoming an exit

COBCOE’s Executive Chairman, David Thomas MBE, commented: “This poll widens this seminally important debate to key European stakeholders and British trading partners. It is not our role to tell the British electorate how to vote. However, the clear and pragmatic view of our membership, Britain’s commercial friends across Europe, is that the EU remains a “work in progress” and that it makes sense for the UK to remain a member. Furthermore our members’ view is that the UK has a critical role arguing from the inside, for the benefit of both the UK and Europe, its key trading partner, for a more robust and open EU, able to compete effectively in the global market place.”

For the full survey results please see the following link: Poll Results

This story has been covered by:

Bloomberg TV – interview with David Thomas

Business Insider

Sky News

City A.M.

Business Matters

Share Radio – interview with Anne-Marie Martin

Keywords EU