Gatwick Diamond businesses back Europe
22 September 2015
Amid the complex national debates and delicate negotiations in Brussels, Gatwick Diamond businesses have been speaking with a clear united voice – they want to stay in the EU, albeit a simplified EU.
These are the findings of the latest Gatwick Diamond Initiative Business Barometer, a regular business survey used to identify the key issues affecting businesses in the area.
With Gatwick Airport at the heart of the economy, it is not surprising to find that over half of Gatwick Diamond businesses sell to customers in the EU and believe that the UK’s membership of the EU has helped to open up markets for their business. EU suppliers and EU labour have also been identified as of importance to the success of Gatwick Diamond businesses.
The survey found that 64 per cent of respondents would vote to maintain Britain’s membership of the EU. Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, explains: “The EU referendum is highly significant to businesses in the Gatwick Diamond which are outward-looking, many of them operating internationally. Even the smallest companies can be part of a much bigger international supply chain.”
Over 70 per cent of Gatwick Diamond business owners say that the UK’s membership of the EU has a positive impact on their business and close to 50 per cent say that a full withdrawal from the EU – a so-called ‘Brexit’ - would have a negative impact.
Ms French adds: “The EU is not without its challenges, however. We cannot ignore the negative impact of EU legislation and red tape on some sections of the business community. Our survey found that 60 per cent of Gatwick Diamond businesses identify the burden of EU employment regulation as the biggest priority for the UK government to tackle. The survey also identifies a need for greater clarity and more information to help businesses understand the complexities and potential impact of each scenario in the run-up to the referendum.”