Most UK business leaders are in favour of remaining in the EU, but gap narrows

The majority of business leaders in the UK plan on voting in favour of Britain remaining in the EU, according to a recent survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

However, the gap between ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ has narrowed.

The BCC surveyed 2,200 members in April, of whom 54%  said they will vote to stay in the EU, down from 60% in February’s survey. The percentage of those who said that they will vote to leave the EU climbed up from 30% two months ago to 37%. The majority of the respondents, 90%, said that it is unlikely that they will change their mind ahead of the vote next month.

The EU referendum, is scheduled to take place in the United Kingdom on 23 June 2016.

Unlike other surveys, most BCC members said the debate has not had much of an impact on sales.

Almost a third members of, 71%, said that the debate was having no impact on sales, while 80% said that it has had no impact on investment.

Nearly half of respondents said business growth wouldn’t be affected by the outcome of the vote, while almost a third said remaining in the EU would boost growth, and only 16% said they would benefit if Britain left the trading bloc. Smaller businesses were more in favour of a Brexit compared to larger businesses.

The BCC’s acting director general, Dr Adam Marshall, commented on the results:

“While only a minority of business people report that the referendum campaign has had a material impact on their firms to date, much larger numbers say they expect significant impacts in the aftermath of the vote.”

“Although a clear majority of the business people we surveyed continue to express a preference to remain in the European Union, the gap between Remain and Leave has narrowed significantly in recent weeks,”

Dr Marshall added: “Whichever outcome prevails, Westminster must shift its attention back to the economy on 24 June without delay.

“Growth is softening, and Westminster’s referendum ‘tunnel vision’ over the past year has meant that far too many key economic issues have been given short shrift or delayed altogether.”