50 days to go until the vote and still a need for balanced information on EU argues the Forum

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With 50 days to go before the Europe vote the Forum of Private business is disappointed in the response to its request for balanced information to put in front of its members and help them reach a well informed decision before the vote on the 23rd June. As a result, businesses are being left to educate themselves on the case for and the case against in the absence of both sides looking seriously at the need to engage with the UK’s small business wealth creators.

When the vote was announced, the Forum’s Managing Director, Ian Cass wrote to 30 thought leaders on this matter, including MPs and business people, who have all been vocal on one side of the debate or the other, requesting some specific facts for or against being part of Europe. The response was concerning and implies that business owners will have to find out the facts for themselves.

”In total, we received 5 responses, which seems to reflect a reticence by these individuals to go beyond “soundbites” and give clear factual information on the pros and cons of EU membership. There is a feeling that they don’t really know what is going to happen, so won’t go on the record. Either way, without clear information, it makes the decision even more difficult for small business owners and employers”, explained Ian.

“There are a huge variety of business owners out there in terms of size, business model, where they trade, appetite for risk and ability to comply with regulation, and the vote will inevitably lead to winners and losers. Without understanding the implications, smaller employers will lose their major advantage on this issue – their adaptability to change.”

“That is not to say there are not options out there – locally Manchester Metropolitan University are holding an event for business owners and similar events are occurring across the country, but the failure of both sides to engage in an evidence-based campaign has not helped our members or other small employers”.


Notes to editors

The Forum of Private Business sought a strategic plan for leaving the UK in February and wrote to 30 thought leaders on 7th March 2016.  5 responses had been received by 1st May 2016.

MMU will be hosting an event on  “the UK’s EU Referendum: Understanding the Key Facts & Debate”, designed to give the facts and implications from a political, economic, social, business and legal perspective on Thursday the 19th May. More information can be found at http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/events/4823/

The Forum will be encouraging members to respond to an independent survey for all business owners which can be found at: https://www.trusted-opinions.com/survey/?ID=47 – now closed for comments