More than 200 small business owners have signed an open letter calling for voters in the impending EU referendum to opt to exit.
The letter, co-ordinated by the Leave.EU campaign and posted on The Daily Telegraph website, said that a vote for Britain to leave the European Union would give small and medium-sized firms “flexibility an adaptability”, enabling them to flourish.
Being tied to Europe, the letter says, leaves SMEs subject to a “constant diet of unnecessary regulations”, which restricts growth by increasing costs, leading to reduced profits.
Don’t ignore SMEs
Signatories included owners of businesses ranging from those that employ up to 1,500 people, to self-employed workers and sole traders.
“Recently much has been made of the support given for our continuing membership to the EU by a minority of managers from Britain’s largest companies,” it read.
“But little attention, as ever, has been given to the stance of SMEs in this debate. SMEs are the incubators for tomorrow’s success stories.
“Our businesses thrive because we instinctively understand that flexibility and adaptability are key to our long-term success. We employ the majority of the UK’s workforce.
EU ‘destined to fail’
“As entrepreneurs, we deal with the EU’s constant diet of unnecessary regulations which add to our cost base, reduce our bottom line, and raise prices for our customers for no return.
“If EU institutions are tone-deaf to the genuine desire for change to remain competitive, the EU is destined to fail.
“We believe in the future of our country. We believe that our economy can do better and create more jobs, without being held back by the EU, thus we should vote to leave.”
The letter was written in response to one published in the Financial Times last month, signed by some of Britain’s largest firms including the bosses of 36 FTSE companies. That letter called for Britain to remain in the EU.