26 April 2016 16:00
More facts, less spin, demand Somerset businesses on EU debate
Somerset businesses say they want more facts and less politics regarding the EU referendum, according to the findings of a recent poll by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce.
Over 40% of the respondents to its member survey said they needed more information in order to make their decision. The comments received highlighted a need for “facts not political spin” and “unbiased information” to help with decision making.
Key areas commented upon by respondents where clarity was required included an understanding of what, if any, EU funding comes to small businesses and the more rural areas of the country; the effects that leaving the EU would have; and the issue of time frames.
One respondent commented, “What we need at this point is information that is as accurate as possible so we can make a decision which, though inevitably subjective, would at least give a result reflecting the majority of the participating UK electorate. What we are getting is, at best, personal opinion and, more likely, propaganda.”
Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said,
“The feedback received from our survey highlighted the need for clarity on both sides of the debate. This is a complex issue and at present there is a lack of fact-based evidence, free of political bias, to allow people to make objective decisions. This is essential so that business people can make not only voting decisions on 23rd June but also commercial investment and strategic decisions.
“The Somerset Chamber and British Chambers of Commerce are currently liaising with both the Vote Leave and Stronger In Europe campaigns in order to source information from them, and we will update members with this once we have received it.”
Along with the British Chambers of Commerce, the Somerset Chamber has stated that it will maintain a neutral position on the issue of the EU referendum, sharing information on both sides of the debate, as well as articulating the views of the local business community.
The Somerset Chamber of Commerce is one of only five accredited Chambers in the South West and 52 in the whole of the UK. It works closely with the British Chambers of Commerce to make sure Somerset businesses stay well connected at both a local and national level, and that the voices of the Somerset business community are heard at all levels of government. For more information, visit www.somerset-chamber.co.uk