Most businessmen and women believe the outcome of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation of the UK’s membership of the European Union is unlikely to change how they will vote, according to a new study.
Research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) showed that David Cameron’s attempt to reach a deal in the coming days has little effect on business opinion.
A survey of over 2,000 BCC members found that only a third will reconsider their voting intentions based on the package of reforms set to be finalised.
Three out of five said they will vote to remain in the EU, slightly down from a similar poll last September, while 30% would back Brexit, an increase of 3%.
BCC director general John Longworth said: “When we last surveyed Chamber members in September, we did not know the detail or ambition of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation package.
“Now our findings suggest that the renegotiation is having little impact on day-to-day business, or the vote of the BCC’s business community, since many made up their minds before knowing the outcome of negotiations, effectively discounting them as irrelevant.
“Our findings suggest that for businesspeople, this is a question of in or out - not renegotiation. Business remains divided on Europe, and business leaders’ views reflect the size of their firm and their export interests, rather than the current political debate.