Hampshire Chamber responds to EU reform deal and referendum announcement
22 February 2016
Stewart Dunn, Hampshire Chamber Chief Executive, said: “With campaigning under way for the EU referendum, we will be giving all our members the chance to voice their opinions. We will be holding roundtable debates in the north and south of the county setting out the issues. We will also be seeking views through dedicated online polling and our quarterly economic survey which feeds into national data gathering by British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
“We are set for an intensive and interesting few months. Overall, we want to ensure Hampshire businesses have all the information they need to make an informed decision on June 23 regarding the implications of both leaving and staying in Europe.
“At this stage, successive polls have shown a majority of business leaders want to remain in the EU and yet we know opinion in Hampshire is split. The bigger your business, and the more you depend on exporting to Europe, the more likely you are to want to remain. If you have a small business, don’t export or do most of your export trade outside the EU, you may be less persuaded of the benefits.
“Hampshire has very strong links to Europe through its geographic proximity, two major sea ports and regional airport. Growth strategies in a number of our sectors, including engineering, aerospace and marine, would inevitably be impacted by a ‘Brexit’ but the extent is unclear. We need to see some clarity on what would feature in a free trade deal if we were to leave the EU.
“European red tape is something that frustrates our members, not least small and medium-sized enterprises. It remains to be seen if David Cameron’s reform deal, with its commitment to reducing unnecessary regulation, will have done enough to convince those business leaders who would otherwise vote to leave.
“At the end of the day, individuals will make their own rational choices based on their specific interests. Our role will be to continue to represent and inform all our members.”
Details of the roundtable events will be announced in the coming weeks. For more details on the quarterly economic survey and other polls, contact Sophie Taylor at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce on 01329 242420 or email: email@example.com