More than half the companies surveyed by the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce have backed remaining in the European Union (EU) – but with fewer decisions taken by the EU as a whole.
The findings came as part of the ‘EU Business Survey 2015’ carried out by the Chamber and Europe Direct in a bid to examining businesses’ attitudes towards the EU.
Seventy-seven firms responded to the survey with half of the respondents coming from the manufacturing sector; the other sectors represented were: transport and communications; business and professional services; industrial services; and public administration.
Fifty-seven per cent of firms questioned backed staying in the EU but with fewer decisions taken by the EU; another 22 per cent favoured the UK’s current working relationship with another 13 per cent opposed to EU membership.
Forty-three per cent of businesses agreed that the UK has benefited significantly from being a member of the EU with another 33 per cent agreeing EU membership has done more harm than good.
Of those involved in exporting, 81 per cent said the EU was a key market for their business while three-quarters of those surveyed added that they welcomed people from EU member states coming to work in the UK.
“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,” said Chamber President, Norman Tenray.
Jacqueline Minor, the Head of Representation from European Commission Representation in the UK, added: “We are pleased to see the results of this survey which was launched by North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce as part of their Europe Direct centre action programme. They offer a fascinating insight into the views of local businesses.”