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25 February 2016

More information needed on EU vote

In the first business survey conducted since the EU referendum date was announced, the Federation of Small Businesses has revealed the results of a snap poll from over 4,000 small business owners.

Our research found that 42 per cent of the small business vote on the UK’s membership of the EU on 23 June could still be swayed.

The research also revealed how informed small business owners feel on the issue and what the main areas of interest are that would influence their vote. The FSB advises both the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns to focus upon these issues in their campaigns.

As part of the survey, FSB members were also asked how informed they feel about the EU referendum. Just over half (52%) of members surveyed said they do not feel informed about the EU referendum, which suggests a growing number are ready to demand answers from both ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns once they are appointed.

When asked what members needed more information on: almost half (48%) said the economic impact on the UK, 38 per cent noted they needed more detail on the administrative burden of complying with regulation and 33 per cent asked for more detail on the cost of EU membership.

This high response from FSB members shows first and foremost the issues that will impact how smaller businesses will vote in the EU referendum. Three out of four FSB members raised EU governance–i.e. how decisions are made within the EU - as the area that would have the highest influence on how they plan to vote.

Other areas that scored highly included the free movement of people, the cost of EU membership, the administrative burden of regulation and the economic impact on the UK.

The Referendum is our chance to have our say. We need to be better informed to make sure we all make an informed choice.