53% of firms ‘not well informed’ for EU vote

Two in five small Scottish companies have not decided how they will vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, according to a new Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) survey.

The poll questioned more than 4,000 UK small business owners, 520 of them in Scotland.

The poll found that more than half of the Scottish businesses questioned — 53% — do not feel well informed on the matter.

Asked what would influence their vote, UK and Scottish businesses highlighted broadly similar factors — saying the governance of the EU and the free movement of people were the top concerns.

“This groundbreaking survey reveals the big questions for Scotland’s smaller businesses ahead of June’s EU vote,” said Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor.

“However, with every second business owner feeling uninformed about the key issues, both sides of this debate have their work cut out to close the information gap.

“In a clear echo of the independence referendum campaign, Scottish smaller businesses want to know the practical impact that remaining within or leaving the EU would have on them.

“FSB will be at the forefront of the efforts to get our members the information they need before they cast their vote.”

When Scottish small businesses were asked what factors would influence their vote, 71% said EU governance, 70% said free movement of people, 62% said economic impact on UK, 60% said administrative burden on businesses, 59% said costs of EU membership, 52% said access to the single market and 50% said trade with EU countries.