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26 February 2016

Small firms speak out on EU referendum vote

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

FSB found 42% of the small business EU referendum vote could still be swayed. The FSB also found just over half of members surveyed did not feel informed about the EU referendum.

When asked what members needed more information on: almost half 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.

“Our wide ranging research sends a very clear message on what information small businesses want from both official campaigns once they are appointed by the Electoral Commission," said Mike Cherry, FSB Policy Director

"Now the date is confirmed, it is clearly ‘game on’ for both sides on this debate. It is crucial that once appointed, both the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaign groups tackle this information deficit.

"Smaller businesses want to know the practical impact that remaining within or leaving the EU would have on their firms. FSB will be at the forefront of this effort on behalf of our members, to get the information they need before they cast their vote.”

Top areas small businesses say will influence how they will vote in the EU referendum:

  1. EU governance (e.g. EU decision making)
  2. Free movement of people (e.g. of EU labour, travel, tourism)
  3. Cost of EU membership
  4. Administrative burden on businesses as a result of complying with regulation
  5. Economic impact on the UK
  6. Trade with EU Countries
  7. Access to the Single Market
  8. Trade with non-EU Countries
  9. EU funding
  10. Competition

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