German SMEs need Britain to stay in EU » SMEInsider

German SMEs need Britain to stay in EU

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A number of German SME owners who run their companies in the UK have pleaded with government figures for Britain to remain in the European Union.

German Industry UK, an organisation that claims to be the ‘the voice of German industry in the United Kingdom,’ has written a letter addressed to David Cameron, George Osborne and Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

‘‘We would urge the prime minister to convince the British people of the financial, economic and social benefits of the EU for the UK and give a firm commitment to remain in the EU,’’ stated Bernd Atenstaedt, chairman of German Industry UK.

The association underwent a period of research in which 90 German companies were asked about the European Referendum, which is expected to take place sometime in 2017.

Over 20 of the businesses included in the survey are classed as SMEs. Together, these businesses employ more than 220,000 people in the UK and 4.4m globally.

Taking the views of UK-based German SMEs into account, German Industry UK published an open letter that underlines the viewpoints of these businesses.

‘‘Whilst we agree with the Prime Minister that there should be significant reductions in EU costs, bureaucracy and regulations, we are concerned at the prospect of a UK outside the EU, should it come to that,’’ stated the letter.

‘‘Our companies today operate freely across the EU, with the UK as one of our major markets and locations worldwide. A UK outside the EU, with a new set of trade agreements to be negotiated, would affect that business.’’

If the United Kingdom were to leave the European Union, Cameron and Co could lose a very profitable business relationship. Last year Germany was the UK’s biggest trading partner, with the nation exporting €92bn into the UK, and importing €44bn.

  • Edward Beale

    What is the definition of an SME? The ones above employ on average 220,000 people globally and an average of 11,000 in the UK. In my world these are large companies.

  • A small business is defined as a company that has up to 50 employees. Out of the 90 businesses included in the survey, only 23 were SMEs, so would not account for all of the jobs created worldwide.

  • safety4hed

    It is a shame that the previous respondants cannot do their basic maths.

    20 SMEs at 50 employees each is 1,000 employees, leaving the remaining 70 companies the 219,000 employees noted in the article. These are not averages. The average employment for the larger companies is therefore c3,100 employees each.

    Perhaps this is a reason that so many UK companies fail to make the profits they expect!