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Scottish Businesses Keen To Shape Priorities On Europe and Will Be Engaged In The Discussions

Posted: 30th September 2015

On the 25th September, The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network  published the Scottish results of a major UK-wide survey on business attitudes towards the EU referendum.

Announcing the key findings of the Scottish Research, Liz Cameron, Director and Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network said:

“The results of this detailed survey of Scottish business opinion make for essential reading for our politicians. Contrary to some opinion, it is clear that business people are taking a keen interest in the debate on our future relationship with Europe, with nearly three quarters reading about it on a regular basis.

“If an in-out referendum was held tomorrow, 73% of respondents indicated that they would vote to remain in the EU, with that figure rising to 90% for large companies. 13.5% would vote to leave, 12.5% are undecided and a balance of 0.4% would not vote. Of the 73% who would vote to remain today, half of the respondents indicated they were committed to that position, and 25% of those who would vote to leave were similarly committed. Views are already being formed, but with 45% of businesses likely to be influenced by the content of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation package, it is important that as much information and detail as possible is presented to business and the wider electorate. Currently, 27% of respondents said that they were completely unfamiliar with the content being proposed within the renegotiation package, with a further 43% only a little familiar with it.

“With Scottish businesses exporting over £12.9 billion of goods and services throughout the European Union, it is important that any change does not disrupt our ability to continue to trade and grow this market, creating wealth and jobs. The UK Government must up its game in terms of communicating with and listening to businesses on this vital issue. Business people have our own ideas on what should be among the priorities of the Prime Minister as he embarks on his negotiations and a recurring theme is a stronger role for the member state in terms of determining the local implementation of EU legislation.

“Whilst the UK Government’s plans for an EU Referendum have so far had no impact for over 80% of businesses, many businesses have flagged up possible implications of any change to the UK’s status within the EU, with over a third of businesses identifying potential negative impacts to growth strategies and import and export strategies as areas of concern.

“This survey will act as a benchmark, enabling us to gauge the awareness, priorities and views from the business community as to the specific reforms to our relationship with Europe which they believe would assist their growth and make business more efficient and competitive, ultimately gaining more orders and creating new jobs.”

You can view the European Referendum Survey report here and key highlights of the research below:

EU Infographic – Scotland + UK Comparison – Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network

EU Infographic – Scotland Insight

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