Research by YouGov has found that owners of small and medium-sized companies are split when it comes to their views on the UK’s position in Europe.
When asked about their attitudes towards the forthcoming EU referendum, 47 per cent of 501 SME directors and owners said they are in favour of Britain staying in Europe. Forty-two per cent said they would vote to leave.
Moreover, the smaller the company, the less likely they are to support continued EU membership. However, companies of all sizes are more in favour of remaining in the EU than of leaving.
These figures closely echo the views of the general public: in December, 41 per cent of people polled by YouGov wanted to stay in the EU, while 42 per cent said they would support plans to exit.
In its latest survey – and to glean a broad view of business opinion on the issue – YouGov spoke to three distinct types of UK businesses: FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, digital entrepreneurs with a typical size of 25 employees, and SMEs.
The results show a mixed picture. Among senior business leaders in large companies, 93 per cent were in favour of remaining in Europe while 7 per cent would like to leave.
Of the digital entrepreneurs, 88 per cent said they would vote for the UK to stay and 12 per cent would vote to leave.
The referendum on whether the UK should stay in Europe is expected to take place before the end of next year. More details on YouGov’s research and methodology can be found here.