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Businesses call for impartial information on EU referendum

Businesses in the UK do not feel that they have enough impartial information to make an informed decision about how to vote in the upcoming European Union (EU) referendum, a new report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says.

The survey of over 2,600 FSB members shows that while opinion is divided on whether the UK's existing membership of the EU is beneficial for their business, there is a strong desire for more neutral and business-focused information to be made available.

41% of respondents reported feeling ‘informed' and 19% consider themselves to be ‘very informed.'

If the vote were held today, FSB members would vote the following way:

  • 47% would vote to remain a member of the EU
  • 41% would vote to leave the EU 
  • 11% are currently undecided.

If the UK was to remain in the EU:

  • 26% of members would like the EU to stay the same 
  • 35% would like to see a transfer of some powers back to the UK 
  • 21% would like other reforms.

If the UK was to leave the EU:

  • 29% would favour bilateral trade agreements with individual EU member states or the EU as a whole
  • 22% would like to remain part of the European Economic Area 
  • 43% would want to strengthen trade links with the rest of the world.

Mike Cherry, policy director at FSB, said:

"This research is a vital starting point in outlining the key issues and areas of concern for small businesses in the EU referendum debate. Regardless of a what a firm's current position is, there is a shared message that small businesses feel they lack clear impartial information on which to form their views."

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