UK Referendum – the Chamber’s View

Tom_Parker_2015

The issue of Brexit is an ever-present in today’s media; particularly in recent weeks as Nigel Farage begins his attempt to unify the ‘out’ campaign. This week Tom Parker, Managing Director of Cambre Associates and British Chamber Vice President writes about the Chamber’s stance on the UK referendum debate.

With the UK Referendum fast approaching, the debate about the UK and its EU future is heating up. Opinion from both sides of the business community has been put forward. Empowered by an opinion survey of its members, the British Chamber will be arguing strongly the reasons why the UK should vote to remain in.

Our members believe that being a member of the EU brings major benefits to the UK, including, though not limited to foreign direct investment: trade, greater security (energy, climate, defence) and support for our research and regions.

Members of the chamber also believe that a decision by the UK to leave would hurt their businesses. The majority of members surveyed said that if the UK were to leave the EU this would be bad for their business (58%) and for the British economy

Looking beyond the implications for the UK, we also very firmly believe that the UK’s EU membership is vital for the future of the union itself. The UK has played an important role in helping shape a more competitive Europe and as the EU seeks to drive European growth and competitiveness, we believe the UK must remain in the EU and at the heart of this process.

Europe’s patchy economic performance in recent years and events like the migration crisis and potential Grexit have exposed a systemic EU weakness in a rapidly evolving, globalised world.

We believe the UK referendum offers a major opportunity to drive a new momentum to reform the European Union, enabling it to better serve its people and work equally for all its members, both inside and outside of the Eurozone.

In short, the UK referendum fits within a wider EU process of renewal. To this end, our members believe the EU is making good progress on priority issues that matter to business. In our survey of members:

  • 81% said the EU was making progress in completing the Single Market;
  • 78% said the EU was making progress in promoting External Trade;

However, we believe more can still be done and building on the reforms to date, the referendum offers an opportunity to help renew the EU, to make it more competitive, dynamic and to make it a Europe of opportunity for all its citizens.

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