Leaving the EU ‘bad for business’, Lancashire survey finds

Some 70 per cent of Lancashire firms believe Britain leaving the European Union would be bad for business, according to a poll by Preston accountancy and business advisory firm Moore and Smalley.

The survey found that only three in 10 businesses agreed with the statement that leaving the EU would be the right move for business and the economy.

There’s just a month left until voters take to the polls for the EU referendum on June 23 to have their say on whether or not Britain should remain a member of the EU or not.

The results of Moore and Smalley’s poll reflect those of a similar survey it ran last year where almost three quarters of businesses said they thought the economy will be stronger if Britain remains in the EU.

Jon Pinder, partner at Moore and Smalley, said: “Through our conversations with clients we’ve learned that a lot of business owners are saying the same thing - they just don’t have the facts to know what the true implications of a leave vote would be. There’s a belief that a leave vote presents the bigger risk.

“For that reason, I think many are erring on the side of caution and are leaning towards a stay vote to avoid a potentially lengthy spell of financial uncertainty. Other clients we speak to steadfastly believe a leave vote would bring new business opportunities and make the economy stronger. Looking at the national data, it’s going to be a very close vote.” Of the business owners surveyed by Moore and Smalley in 2015, 56 per cent said they wanted to stay in the EU if Britain could secure key reforms, and a further 16 per cent wanted Britain to “remain a member at all costs”.