Busi­ness lead­ers sup­port EU and want UK to stay

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

A new sur­vey by The Euro­pean Busi­ness Awards, spon­sored by RSM, in­volv­ing busi­ness lead­ers from 32 coun­tries across Europe shows strong sup­port for the EU.

In all, 84% of Euro­pean busi­ness lead­ers be­lieve their coun­try’s membership of the EU has a pos­i­tive im­pact on their busi­ness, 83% be­lieve it has a pos­i­tive im­pact on their coun­try and 79% be­lieve it has a pos­i­tive im­pact on them per­son­ally. Fur­ther­more, 67% be­lieve they have a role to play in pro­mot­ing the EU to their coun­try’s wider pop­u­la­tion.

The main rea­sons given in sup­port of the EU were the eco­nomic ad­van­tages brought by membership, the com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion a united Europe has against China, Rus­sia and the US, and the im­por­tance of in­te­gra­tion, sta­bil­ity and unity in the cur­rent cli­mate. Costs and bu­reau­cracy were the fo­cus of the mi­nor­ity view.

“Th­ese strong re­sults show that for the Euro­pean busi­ness com­mu­nity the case for the EU is clear; the benefits far out­weigh the costs,” said Adrian Tripp, CEO of The Euro­pean Busi­ness Awards.

“From a busi­ness per­spec­tive, peo­ple see the value in the com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties; from a wider per­spec­tive, sta­bil­ity and in­te­gra­tion are key.”

“At the Euro­pean Busi­ness Awards, we see th­ese benefits of the EU on a day to day, firm to firm, coun­try to coun­try ba­sis. It cre­ates eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, breaks down bar­ri­ers and builds un­der­stand­ing. A united Euro­pean busi­ness com­mu­nity is in­te­gral to a safer fu­ture for all of us,” Tripp added.

The sur­vey con­ducted by The Euro­pean Busi­ness Awards, Europe’s largest busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion now in its ninth year, and sup­ported by RSM since its in­cep­tion, also asked busi­ness lead­ers whether the UK should stay in the EU.

The re­sults show that 86% of Euro­pean busi­ness lead­ers think the UK should stay, with 11% say­ing the UK should leave. The sur­vey also shows that the ma­jor­ity be­lieve a UK exit would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on all con­cerned.

Of the re­sponses, 84% of busi­ness lead­ers be­lieve a UK exit (Brexit) would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the EU it­self, 76% think it would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the UK econ­omy, and 67% think it would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on their own coun­try’s econ­omy.

Of the re­spon­dees who think the UK should stay in the EU, 25% were from the UK.

“The Eu­ro­zone is the big­gest trad­ing part­ner for the United King­dom and the po­ten­tial im­pact of the UK ex­it­ing the EU would be highly sig­nif­i­cant to our clients around the world,” said Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM, the sev­enth largest net­work of in­de­pen­dent au­dit, tax and ad­vi­sory firms.

“This sur­vey clearly shows that Euro­pean and UK busi­ness lead­ers feel strongly that Europe must main­tain its com­pet­i­tive edge in the global mar­ket­place and that the UK’s membership is key to do­ing so.”

A to­tal of 437 Euro­pean busi­ness lead­ers from 32 Euro­pean coun­tries took part in the sur­vey, in­clud­ing 124 from the UK, rep­re­sent­ing over 25 sec­tors with the heav­i­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion com­ing from IT and tech­nol­ogy, man­u­fac­tur­ing and the FMCG sec­tor.

Re­spon­dees were busi­ness heads of com­pa­nies who have been recog­nised and re­warded by The Euro­pean Busi­ness Awards, which has a strict cri­te­ria for en­try in the fields of fi­nan­cial suc­cess, growth, ethics and in­no­va­tion.

Sizes of com­pa­nies ranged from SMEs to na­tion­als.

The Euro­pean Busi­ness Awards is now in its 9th year. It at­tracted over 24,000 busi­nesses to the com­pe­ti­tion last year and in the public vote gen­er­ated over 150,000 votes from across Europe.




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