Firms in Lancashire want the UK to remain in the European Union and believe the EU has had a positive impact on business, according to a new survey.
According to the survey, jointly carried out by North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Europe Direct, 59 per cent of surveyed companies said leaving the EU would have a negative impact on their business.
However respondents did call for EU reforms, with 47 per cent saying remaining in the Union while transferring powers back to the UK would have a positive impact.
And fewer than a quarter of respondents to the Chamber’s ‘EU Business Survey’, designed to assess business attitudes to the European Union, favoured a continuation of the current arrangement.
North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce president Norman Tenray said: “The Government is renegotiating the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU) ahead of a referendum by the end of 2017.
“Whatever the result of the referendum the outcome will have a significant impact on the UK’s business relationship with the EU.
“It’s important we know how the Lancashire business community views this relationship and how it sees it developing going forward.
“This report, the first of its kind for the Chamber, takes a detailed look at how local businesses view this relationship and how they want to see it going forward. The report also measures the impact the EU is having on their operations, including the issue of migrant workers.
“The survey was undertaken in conjunction with Europe Direct and we thank our colleagues there for their help and support.”
Jacqueline Minor, head of representation for the European Commission representation in the UK, said: “This survey, directed at businesses in the North West, is a valuable tool for gauging views in the region.
“With the focus of the new Commission on jobs and growth, the concerns and interests of the business community are of real importance to policy makers.
“But it is particularly helpful for those of us working in the UK to get a real flavour of British business opinion.
“Although the results highlight points on which local businesses would welcome reform, it is clear from this survey that the European Union is considered of significant value.”
To view the survey results in full, click here.