We don’t want a ‘Brexit’ – it would be bad for business, say most SMMT members

Time 11:11 am, March 3, 2016

THREE quarters of SMMT members say remaining in Europe is best for their business, according to the results of a new independent survey.

Seventy-seven per cent of SMMT members surveyed said that if a referendum were held tomorrow, a ‘remain’ vote would be the best outcome, according to ComRes, who were commissioned to carry out the independent poll.

It’s a sentiment shared by 88 per cent of large automotive companies who are SMMT members and 73 per cent of SME members, with small and medium-sized businesses making up around three quarters of respondents (72 per cent). Only a minority (nine per cent) say leaving would be best, less than the proportion who are uncertain (14 per cent don’t know).

Notably, no large companies surveyed said an exit would be in their business’s best interests.

The SMMT-commissioned poll was carried out over a five-week period in January and February this year.

Delving into the reasons why the EU is important to them, 66 per cent of SMMT members said that access to EU automotive markets has a positive impact on their business.

This is followed by a majority saying that access to a skilled workforce (55 per cent) and the ability to influence industry standards and regulations (52 per cent) also have a positive impact.

Click graphics to enlarge

Some of the key reasons given for staying in the EU included the importance of economic and market stability, securing the UK’s global competitiveness, and access to the single market’s free trade opportunities.

Fifty-nine per cent of SMMT members say a ‘Brexit’ would have a negative impact on their company in the medium- to long-term, with a further one in five uncertain about the nature and extent of that impact (18 per cent don’t know).

Mike Hawes, pictured, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The message from UK Automotive is clear – being in Europe is vital for the future of this industry and to secure jobs, investment and growth.

‘UK Automotive is thriving, with record car exports, new registrations and the highest manufacturing levels for a decade.

‘Our industry supports 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributes more than £15 billion to the UK economy – our members have clearly stated that pulling out of Europe could jeopardise this.’

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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