Firms say UK exit from the EU would be bad for business

Survey by Irish International Business Network finds lack of resources main issue impeding international development

 British Prime Minister David Cameron: committed to a referendum on the UK’s role in Europe by 2017.  Photograph:  Oli Scarff/Getty Images

British Prime Minister David Cameron: committed to a referendum on the UK’s role in Europe by 2017. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Mon, Jun 24, 2013, 01:00

A European Union exit by the UK would have a negative impact on business, according to just over half of firms surveyed by the Irish International Business Network (IIBN).

Some 53.1 per cent of companies surveyed in Ireland and Britain believe that a UK departure from the EU would be negative for their businesses. However, 40.6 per cent said a UK exit would have no impact, with 6.3 per cent believing it would be positive for business.

Of the companies surveyed in Ireland, some 54.5 per cent said an exit would have a negative effect on their business. Of the firms surveyed in the UK, 51.3 per cent said a departure would be bad for business.

David Cameron is committed to a referendum on the UK’s role in Europe by 2017. Almost twice as many UK-based professionals (26.7 per cent) as those in Ireland (13.6 per cent) believe that a UK departure would be very negative for their businesses.

Terence MacSwiney Field, chief executive of fine art photography business Macsfieldimages, said a UK exit could lead to the reintroduction of customs posts, borders, passport controls and excise duties on products which would lead to price increases on imports and exports.

An overwhelming 42.3 per cent of respondents cited a lack of resources as the main issue they faced.