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EU referendum campaign groups must answer small business questions

Yesterday’s announcement by the Electoral Commission saw ‘Vote Leave’ and ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ designated as the two official LEAVE and REMAIN EU referendum campaign groups.

Following the announcement, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written to both Matthew Elliott from the Vote Leave campaign and Will Straw from the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign asking them to answer the top ten questions that UK small businesses want answered before they cast their vote.

“We are calling on both EU referendum Campaigns groups to respond to the key questions our members have told us they want answered before 23 June. Small business owners will be a crucial swing group in this referendum with 42 per cent of FSB members saying their vote could still be swayed.” said National Chairman for the FSB, Mike Cherry.

“It’s vital that both campaigns provide the answers small businesses owners need, in order to make the right choice for them and their businesses.”

FSB research of over 4,000 members revealed that 48 per cent want more information on the economic impact on the UK of a decision to leave the EU or to remain.

In addition, 38 per cent of small businesses called for more detail on the administrative burden of complying with regulation and 33 per cent asked for more detail on the cost of EU membership.

They found that the top areas small businesses say will influence how they will vote in the EU referendum are:

  1. EU governance (e.g. EU decision making)-75%
  2. Free movement of people (e.g. of EU labour, travel, tourism)–70%
  3. Cost of EU membership-69%
  4. Administrative burden on businesses as a result of complying with regulation-68%
  5. Economic impact on the UK-64%
  6. Trade with EU Countries-53%
  7. Access to the Single Market-49%
  8. Trade with non-EU Countries-48%
  9. EU funding-42%
  10. Competition-35%

“Half of the small businesses we spoke to do not feel informed about the EU referendum and they need to have the facts before voting day.” continued Mike Cherry.

“As the vote approaches we will continue to champion the voice of UKs 5.4 million small businesses and call for the clarity and information they need to make an informed decision. There is no status quo – whatever the result, the decision on 23rd June will see changes. Small business owners want to know more about what these mean for their business.”


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