86% of international businesses believe the UK should remain within the EU

86% of international businesses believe the UK should remain within the EU

A survey of international businesses undertaken by the
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom, together with Hogan
Lovells LLP, has revealed that 86% of respondents felt the UK should vote to
stay in the EU, with only 8% of respondents stating that the UK should leave
the EU. The vast majority (82%) of the international businesses asked felt the
UK would be less attractive if it left the EU, with 46% saying they would reduce
their UK-based investment in the event of a Brexit; 35% said they would reduce
employment and 74% indicated the UK would have less influence in the EU.

“This is a seminal moment for the UK and will have major
implications for many generations to come. It is vital that this be a
fact-based debate,” said Sir Mike Rake, Chair of ICC United Kingdom. “The facts
presented in our survey are crystal clear: international business wants the UK
to stay in the EU. They think we are better off in

the EU and should continue to constructively engage to
improve competitiveness and attract FDI."

As part of the world’s largest business organization, ICC
United Kingdom provides a platform for international business to voice concerns
and influence policy. The survey spanned 27 countries with 226 respondents –
including a mixture of large businesses, Small to Medium-sized Enterprises
(SMEs) and sole traders from a range of industries and sectors. The results
from the survey will be shared as part of a Brexit debate this evening jointly
held by ICC United Kingdom, Hogan Lovells, and the Council of British Chambers
of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) on 12 April. 

“The results of the survey clearly show a preference
towards the UK staying in the EU,” says Chris Southworth, Director of ICC
United Kingdom. 

Indeed, in support of the survey results, ICC United
Kingdom asked leading figures in international business to chime-in on the
debate:

Germany

Dr. Werner Brandt Chairman ICC Germany, Chairman of
ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG and Member of the Executive Boards of RWE AG, Deutsche
Lufthansa AG and QIAGEN N.V.: “A potential Brexit not only threatens to
break-up Europe but it will almost certainly have a significant impact on the
world-economy. The UK needs the EU and the EU needs the UK. Hopefully British
pragmatism will be decisive in the end.”

 Klaus-Peter Müller,
Vice Chairman of ICC Germany and Chairman of Commerzbank AG: “It has been
suggested, on occasion, that a Brexit may yield great opportunities for
Germany’s financial center, Frankfurt. But in my opinion this is short sighted.
The reality is that an out-vote will only produce losers in the UK and across
the EU.”

Ulrich Grillo, President of BDI, Germany’s CBI equivalent:
“The British government has made some reasonable demands. The EU must
strengthen European competitiveness and considerably reduce excessive
bureaucracy. A Brexit will only lead us to a dead-end. Withdrawal from the
European Union would not only damage the internal market but would also send
out a calamitous signal to the remaining European member states. German
business has only one message to share with its British neighbours: Stay in –
it’s in your best interest.”

France

Loïc Armand, Vice President ICC France, President MEDEF
European Committee: “In 1916, the two most terrible battles of WW1 Verdun and
la Somme resulted in 1.4 million English, French and German casualties. One
century after, the European Union is a success story. It means peace, security,
prosperity because all European nations understand that in a globalized and
sometimes dangerous world they are safer and stronger together. Our common
values are much more important than all our current disputes.

The UK referendum should not be seen as the mere expression
of an islander distanced from the continental project. David Cameron asked
valid questions that many people, far away from the circle of dedicated
Brussels insiders, are asking themselves.

Our country, France, is a founder of the European Union and
part of an ambitious economic and political project requiring more integration
within the Eurozone. We support every steps that needs to be taken in order to
achieve this goal.

 But we are also
supporters of a larger European single market, covering the 28 countries that
are members of the EU. This absolutely must include the UK.

 We do not want to
destroy the European project by being unable to provide the required
flexibility for those who want more liberty to decide some of their own rules,
or their own money

 The United States of
Europe remains the dream of a few. Let's keep alive the more achievable project
of the United Nations of Europe for all the 28. Let's change our Europe to save
Europe and ensure peace and prosperity for every citizen.”

Netherlands:

Hans de Boer, President of the Confederation of
Netherlands’ Industry and Employers VNO-NCW:

“The UK has put its mark on the rules in the EU for many
years and made it a better place by insisting on having more market, more
international trade, less government, better rules. In doing so the UK was an
important ally of my country. By being a member of the EU the UK co-shapes the
rules in its most important export market for financial services. It would be
unwise to squander that asset. And as a member of the EU, the UK became the
Netherlands second export market and the destination of € 177 billion of Dutch
investments alone. The UK must remain in the EU. That is unquestionably in our
mutual interest.”