News: techUK poll finds that the vast majority agree that EU membership is good for business.
Wading into the In/Out debate over the UK’s future in the EU, techUK has found that the majority of UK tech companies (70%) support the UK remaining a member of the European Union.
techUK polled 277 tech business leaders, three-quarters of which were SMEs, and found a clear majority for the In camp. Only 15% of tech firms came out in favour of a Brexit, with a further 15% sitting on the EU/UK fence and saying that they were undecided.
Out of the 70% which supported a vote to remain in the EU, 76% said that EU membership made the UK more attractive to international investment, with a further 75% stating that EU membership gave companies a better deal on trading within the EU.
71% said that EU membership makers the UK more globally competitive, while 42% believed that the UK would create more jobs within the EU.
Julian David, CEO of techUK commented: "UK tech is thriving, creating jobs almost three times faster than the rest of the economy. The vast majority of our members say that being in the EU supports that growth. Open markets and cooperation are good for business. This is not about fear, it is about opportunity – a market of 500 million consumers."
Looking to the 15% who would vote to leave, the techUK survey found that the reasons behind such a decision included more flexibility in a global economy (91%), the ability to be more competitive on a global scale (64%) and the chance to give the UK a better deal in its relationships with the rest of the world (58%). 24% believe the UK would create more jobs outside the EU.
Be it In or Out, the survey found that all respondents could agree on one thing – that the EU is good for business. A clear majority of all techUK members said key EU policies have a positive impact on their ability to buy and sell (69%) and trade and invest (64%) in Europe.
With very few of those surveyed finding that the EU impacted their business negatively, the majority of members said that they would still have to comply with EU rules even if the UK left the EU. Two thirds (66%) of all respondents sell products and services in the EU that would still have to comply with EU rules, even if the UK votes to leave. Any change to the UK’s relationship with the EU will impact these companies the most.
David commented: "Most of these companies, large and small, have customers and or suppliers across the EU. They are saying they will still have to comply with EU rules, whatever the UK decides on 23rd June. A British exit would mean the UK giving up control over how those rules are set. That could put UK businesses at a real disadvantage."