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East Midlands Chamber News

Local Firms Favour Renegotiation Of UK’s Relationship With EU

DNCC In Business Cover April 2013More than two thirds of local businesses believe the renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU is a better way forward than withdrawing from it, according to new figures.

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) recently quizzed 286 local businesses about their attitudes towards the country’s membership of the EU.

The survey found that 67 per cent of local firms felt withdrawing completely from the EU would harm the UK economy, whilst 69 per cent believed remaining in the EU but negotiating to transfer specific powers back from Brussels to Westminster would have a positive impact on Britain’s business and economic prospects.

And when asked about which specific powers businesses would like to see Westminster claw back from Brussels, employment law topped the list (67%), followed by health and safety (57%), justice or home affairs (37%), regional development (36%) and public sector procurement rules (29%).

Commenting on the results of the survey, DNCC Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “As the world’s largest single market, Europe will always be a key trading partner for the UK. Being successful there remains central to the future growth and development of a significant majority of companies in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

“However, although businesses recognise the benefits of being part of a European single market, this survey shows there is growing concern about the cumulative impact of the rules imposed by Brussels and the endless stream of new European legislation and court rulings that raise their costs and lower their competitiveness.

"More than two-thirds of local businesses believe complete withdrawal from the EU would have a negative impact on the economy, but a similar proportion think renegotiating the balance of powers back from Brussels to Westminster would deliver business and economic benefit to the UK.

“The Prime Minister is right to draw a distinction between the parts of the UK’s relationship with the EU we want to continue and those that we want to end.

“However, Government does need to take a clear steer from business and the real economy before rushing into policy changes, to ensure that any decisions about the UK’s relationship with the EU are in the country’s best interests in the long term.”

DNCC's business magazine, In Business, took a closer look at the EU debate in its April issue, which can be viewed by clicking the image above or by clicking here.

EU Data Table 1 EU Data Table 2