The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) announced today that UK businesses want to stay in the EU, but reforms are essential.
In the largest private sector business survey on the issue of the UK’s relationship in Europe, 55% of bosses said the most positive outcome for their business would be to operate in a reformed EU, while 63% of firms believe withdrawing from the EU would have a negative impact on their business.
Cornwall Chamber of Commerce recently released its Business Plan for Cornwall, a manifesto containing the findings from a survey of the business community in Cornwall.
Echoing the national view, the Business Plan for Cornwall states that 82% of respondents believe withdrawal from the EU would have a negative impact on business – only 3% think exit would be a good thing.
The majority of businesses that completed the Business Plan for Cornwall survey said they were most positive about remaining in the European Union, but with specific powers transferred from Brussels back to Westminster; this was also the opinion held nationally.
In line with the National response, businesses in Cornwall said that withdrawal from the European Union would have the largest negative impact.
Commenting, John Longworth, BCC director general, said: “Whoever forms the next government must put EU reform at the top of the agenda.
“We must establish our relationship as a country that is part of the EU, but not part of the monetary union and ensure we have clear safeguards in place to protect ourselves against unwanted further integration. That is the kind of reform that UK businesses need, in order to have the confidence to make long-term plans for growth and prosperity.”
Kim Conchie, chief executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, added: “The Cornish business community’s opinions on Europe are certainly in line with the national view; however, respondents to our survey were much more concerned about what the future holds as far as funding is concerned.
“More needs to be done to simply the red tape surrounding access to EU funds for businesses in Cornwall and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce is calling for improvements in communication and public reporting around EU programmes.”