SW businesses split on EU issue

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West Country business owners are split over the issue of whether the UK should remain in the EU, according to a snap survey from accountancy firm, Bishop Fleming.

Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee

A slight majority (52%) in the poll said “Yes, our business definitely benefits – directly or indirectly – from UK membership of the EU”, while 48% said “No, if the UK leaves the EU it will have no effect on our business”.

However, 61% acknowledged the importance of EU membership for securing grant-funding for Devon and Cornwall, subsidies for farmers, and attracting international inward investors into the region.

“The West Country’s business community is different to most other regions,” said Bishop Fleming managing partner, Matthew Lee. “Most of our companies are locally owned enterprises that are not dependent on the EU.

“Maybe Mr Cameron should consider whether the EU issue would have been better managed if we voters were encouraged to take EU elections as seriously as a general election. Tiny turn-outs have elected a variety of minority parties with differing views on the EU.”