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ICAS members vote for UK to stay in EU

10th Apr 2015
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Around 82% of ICAS members in business expressed a preference for Britain to stay in the European Union in a recent survey.

The Scottish institute received responses from 216 of its members in mostly large businesses across the UK ahead of the upcoming general election, which could spell a referendum on EU membership depending who gets voted in.

In addition, 31% wanted a renegotiated relationship and 32% wanted no change to current arrangements. A further 11% wanted to leave the EU. 

Most respondents said they felt the EU yielded benefits for their business. ICAS said there was a sense from the survey that the EU imposed a management and administrative burden as a result of rules and regulations. Around 15% said that membership resulted in some burdens. 

Among the key benefits named were the market of 500m people EU membership brought and the single market without tariffs and customs duties. The uniformity of standards and legislation was seen as the third best benefit, but almost a quarter also saw this as a burden.

Further major burdens associated with membership were EU employment law, regulations specific to the respondent’s industry, VAT rules, which in addition more than 22% saw as a benefit. 

ICAS has also published analysis outlining what it sees as potential impacts for the UK should a majority of voters support withdrawal in any referendum on EU membership.

David Wood, ICAS executive director of technical policy said while the level of support to stay in the EU was significant, there were clear differences of opinion as to whether it should be in a more integrated EU or renegotiated relationship. 

"A striking message from the analysis paper prepared by our expert committees was that even if the UK left the EU, it would be severely restricted in its ability to do things differently if it wanted to continue to access the EU’s single market and be internationally competitive," he said. 

Would you prefer a renegotiated EU relationship, to leave it as it is, or withdraw from membership altogether?

Replies (4)

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By johnjenkins
11th Apr 2015 11:12

The problem with

the EU is that you can't renegotiate. Like him or not, listen to Farage when he speaks about the EU. There are plenty of his speeches on utube. He talks sense. The EU want a Federal Europe and that is the problem.

So the only way to actually take back control of our country is to leave.

Now Scotland is a different kettle of fish. They want to stay in, so big conflict there.

Even if we have a referendum we won't leave until things get so bad in this country that there will be no other option.

If the EU realised the problems they were causing with their blinkered outlook then perhaps things could be worked out but I can't see it.

Thanks (1)
By Scriptic
12th Apr 2015 07:42

It's Just a Matter of Time

Today the EU may consider that its rules are written in stone and cannot be changed but given the apalling state of many of its members' economies and the fragility of the Euro, which increasingly appears to have been nothing more than a gigantic vanity project, change and drastic change at that appears to be inevitable whether we negotiate for it or not.

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By User deleted
13th Apr 2015 08:45

Surely the questions are …

Not about leaving the EU & cutting all ties but rather a similar approach to those other countries on the peripheral such as Norway, Switzerland etc.

Perhaps someone could explain the benefit of having our fishing ground illegally pinched by the EU when the UK joined in Ted Heaths time 1972

(CFP & Regulation, 2141/70 – which was only adopted on the morning of 30 June, the day the British application for membership was made) – and why this illegal state of affairs was allowed to continue for nearly 20 years. Also whilst you’re at it, try convincing the decimated UK fishing fleets that this was/has been good for them

Also let’s not forget that the EU started life as a trading alliance and yet in one way or another seems to have granted itself all manner of additional powers driven by politicians & bureaucrats looking to strengthen their power bases – often to the detriment of the member states

What happened to subsidiarity in all this which seems to have been sidelined & completely ignored in the EU power grab - also look at all the 'dodgy' people the EU is involved with or has running the show as well as the shear endemic corruption throughout

The original Treaty of Rome has 3 tenets – free movement of People, Services, Capital; and yet for the most part only one of these 3 has been pushed (movement of people) - as for free movement of capital witness trying to force a move from London to Frankfurt as a financial centre; hardly free movement when driven schemers in the EU!

Recent enlargement of the EU (purely for political reasons) has come at cost to existing members, where ‘basket case’ countries (once Spain) simply see it as a way of funding their infrastructure at someone else’s expense. No-body has yet explained how countries with an average annual wage of £1,800 can co-exist with those where the wage is £25,000 without mass migration from ‘poor’ to ‘rich’

When this is combined with welfare availability of £10/wk against £75/wk and the fact that in the UK local councils have a Statutory Duty to house people (where in these new countries does this concept exist) is it any wonder a great many wish to come to the UK and end up sending money back home – or if they can get away with having child benefit paid to dependents in their own country then so much the better

Then there is the NHS which seems to be a health service for all comers, free at the point of delivery – and people wonder why it is struggling with the volume of people and funding – again some of the solutions are obvious but no politician is prepared to address them

Now in the run up to an election is an ideal time to air these matters, however, there seems to be a resounding silence on all fronts

Except of course trade bodies who bang on about loss of business whilst at the same time only prepared to pay minimum wage, expecting the Govt to top up their employees to living wage whilst at the same time having the business making a profit -

Never really understood this or why there is no claw-back from business profits by Government to cover any top-up benefits they have paid to employees

Thanks (1)
By johnjenkins
13th Apr 2015 09:56

We joined

on the basis of EFTA. I think Maggie was aware of what was coming. Then, of course. Mr Blair would love to have been head of a Federal Europe.

Normally there is only one way to change things and that is to wait until they get so bad that something has to be done.

So let's hope Labour get in and do a deal with SNP. So in 5 years time we can exit the EU and have a Government worth having.

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