UK200Group members have their say on a Brexit
Members of the UK200Group of independent accountancy and law firms have commented on the possibility of a ‘Brexit’.
With a referendum on the subject looming, UK200Group members were asked if they would vote ‘in’ or ‘out’ if the referendum was held today. An overwhelming 78% of members voted ‘in’, whilst 22% voted ‘out’. Interestingly, clients of UK200Group member firms voted 68 per cent ‘in’ and 32% ‘out’.
Trade was a common theme in the comments received from members, with one saying: “I believe that freedom of trade and labour gives the UK as part of the EU greater influence and economic success in an international market place.” “A strong Economic Union is best for business”, and “It is important to be part of a big trading community. I would think the impact / backlash the UK would get from our close neighbours could be disastrous for the UK economy.”
Other members disagreed and wrote: “EU is an unaffordable and unrepresentative state. We do not need its bureaucracy to be a successful Nation in our own right” as well as “I think the loss in potential trade with UK will not outweigh the potential treasury savings made by not being part of the EU.” In agreement, another member commented: “No benefit of being in – only costs. Once out we would have a trade agreement with EU – same as China, US etc. and they don’t have any problems!”
Some UK200Group members disagree with that standpoint and commented: “There are more than economic reasons to stay in Europe. I would like to think that countries that trade together will not go to war with each other. There has been war in Europe for centuries and because of the EU it is unimaginable that there would be conflict between traditional enemies such as the Germans and the French. The EU is our largest and closest trading partner. Many English people live in Europe and holiday there.”
Declan Swan, chief executive officer of the UK200Group, said: “Although our surveys focused largely on trading within the European Union, it is of course important to note that trade is not the sole issue, as one member mentioned.
“Whilst we have obtained a handle on the opinions of our members, there are of course a great many factors to consider. However, it is interesting that in both the survey of UK200Group members and the survey of their clients, the majority voted to remain part of the European Union.
“We will be repeating the survey after the party conference season, so I am looking forward to seeing if the results we see then will mirror these.”