techUK member views on Europe

UK Tech Companies Large and Small Agree EU Membership is Good for Business
  • Poll of techUK members finds 70% support the UK remaining in the EU; 15% support the UK leaving the EU; 15% don't know
  • The majority support remain because EU membership makes the UK more attractive to international investment (76%), more globally competitive (71%) and gives the UK a better deal in trading relationships with the EU (75%)
  • All respondents, regardless of their position on EU membership, believe that key EU policies have a positive impact on their business

14 March: A techUK survey of businesses at the forefront of the UK’s fastest growing sector found that 70% support the UK remaining a member of the European Union. The poll of 277 tech business leaders, 75% of which were SMEs, found a clear majority for remain across tech firms of all sizes – micro to large. Just 15% of tech firms came out in favour of a decision to leave whilst 15% said they were undecided.

Julian David, CEO of techUK commented: "UK tech is thriving, creating jobs almost three times faster than the rest of the economy. The vast majority of our members say that being in the EU supports that growth. Open markets and cooperation are good for business. This is not about fear, it is about opportunity – a market of 500 million consumers."

Reasons given by the 70% that support remain

techUK members that support a vote to remain (70% of respondents) said EU membership makes the UK more attractive to international investment (76%); gives companies a better deal on trading relationships within the EU (75%); and makes the UK more globally competitive (71%). 42% believe the UK would create more jobs within the EU.

These companies said that a vote to leave would create more risk and uncertainty for their business (73%); make the UK less attractive to foreign investment (65%); give the UK less influence on the issues that impact their business (58%); and that the UK would have to trade internationally on less favourable terms (55%).

Reasons given by the 15% that support leave

Companies that think the UK should leave the EU (15% of respondents) said the UK would have more flexibility in a global economy (91%); be more globally competitive (64%); and give the UK a better deal in its relationships with the rest of the world (58%). 24% believe the UK would create more jobs outside the EU.

These respondents said the main drawback of remaining in the EU is that the UK does not have sufficient influence in the EU (64%). Whilst 54% pointed to the regulatory burden imposed by the EU.

Views of all respondents on the impact of the EU

A majority of all respondents, regardless of their position on EU membership, agree the EU is good for business. A clear majority of all techUK members said key EU policies have a positive impact on their ability to buy and sell (69%) and trade and invest (64%) in Europe.

Very few respondents said key EU policies had a negative impact on their businesses. Just 3% of all respondents said EU membership had a negative impact on their ability to invest and do business across Europe and only 3% thought that the EU trade policies had a negative impact on their ability to trade outside of the EU.

However, the majority of members said they would still have to comply with EU rules even if the UK left the EU. Two thirds (66%) of all respondents sell products and services in the EU that would still have to comply with EU rules, even if the UK votes to leave. Any change to the UK’s relationship with the EU will impact these companies the most.

David commented: "Most of these companies, large and small, have customers and or suppliers across the EU. They are saying they will still have to comply with EU rules, whatever the UK decides on 23rd June. A British exit would mean the UK giving up control over how those rules are set. That could put UK businesses at a real disadvantage."


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