Another day, another EU referendum lobbying effort. This time it’s from business secretary Sajid Javid, who is joining forces with some of the UK’s most innovative SMEs who want to confirm their support for remaining in the EU. The campaign centres mainly on the importance of EU membership to those companies that export.
“A quarter of our small businesses export to the EU or supply companies that do,” said Javid. “They and the companies they supply can trade freely without tariffs, quotas or custom checks with the world’s largest single market.
“There is wide consensus that withdrawing from the EU and it’s single market would cause an economic shock in the UK. Our small firms would be on the front line of that shock. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Let’s not risk breaking that backbone with a leap into the dark.“
The EU question has already had an adverse impact on many SMEs, with the uncertainty leading them to hold off from making investment decisions.
EU membership has allowed us to strengthen
The campaign has recruited a number of fast growing, export-led companies to talk about how they have benefited from the UK’s membership. Jamie Andrews is the co-Founder of Loco2, which provides a platform for people to buy train tickets for the UK and across Europe. In his view,
“It’s hard to imagine Loco2 existing without the UK being part of the European Union. EU-wide reforms have been crucial in allowing us to access the exceptional cross-European rail network, as well as enabling us to compete successfully with equivalent businesses across the continent. Being a member of the EU has allowed our UK-based business to go from strength to strength.”
Meanwhile, Jack Parsons, CEO of YourFeed, a digital recruitment platform, said “Europe’s very important if you’re a start-up. There’s a massive skills shortage in the UK in tech and if you haven’t got the best talent, you can’t compete. So having access to coders from all over the EU makes it possible to do business.
“What’s more, being part of the EU brings more investment opportunities. Mainland Europe pumps money into London –I’ve raised investment from the continent but tech firms would suffer if London’s status as Europe’s financial capital were thrown away.”