Business group launches series of EU referendum debates across the UK, starting tonight in Birmingham, giving members the chance to hear the arguments for leave and remain
Whatever their views on the UK’s membership of the European Union, the Institute of Directors urges all businesses to consider the implications of the upcoming referendum. With only around 6 in 10 IoD members having even discussed the issue at board or senior management level, the IoD says business leaders need more of an opportunity to listen to the case from both sides.
Allie Renison, Head of EU and Trade policy at the IoD, said:
“Business leaders will have heard plenty of claims from both campaigns on what is at stake in this referendum, but trying to work out what really matters may at times feel like wading through treacle. We want to make sure our members get to hear the substance of the issue, rather than just the sentiment, so they can be confident they understand the arguments before they vote.
“Even if a firm doesn’t directly trade with the European Union, it might employ EU citizens, or be part of supply chain that could be affected by the outcome of the referendum. Business leaders up and down the country are telling us that they need to hear more practical arguments about whether, and how, Brexit would really affect their company’s future.”
The IoD will be holding debates on the following dates, with more to be announced:
19th April Birmingham
3rd May Hook
4th May Bristol
10th May Leeds
17th May London
19th May Belfast
25th May Chelmsford
25th May Nottingham
26th May Southampton
31st May Cardiff
6th June Edinburgh
11th June Hull
Further dates to be confirmed in Manchester, Cambridge and Scotland.
For further information, or to be put in touch with the relevant IoD office in charge of each event, please use the contact details below.
The IoD will not be campaigning in the EU referendum, seeing its role as representing its members’ opinions, and informing the debate on business issues. When asked following the Prime Minister’s EU reform deal in February, 60% of IoD members said they planned to vote to remain in the union, 31% said they intended to vote to leave and 9% were undecided. A new survey is currently in the field which will provide a snapshot of how business opinion is shifting as the referendum gets closer.