53% Of Small Firms Confused About EU Vote

More than half of Scottish small businesses do not feel well informed about the European Union referendum, with just four months to go until the vote, according to a new survey.

The Federation of Small Businesses survey also found more than half of the 520 firm owners quizzed have already decided how they will cast their ballot on June 23.

Asked "how well informed do you feel about the forthcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union?'', 11% of firms said they did not feel at all informed while 42% said not very well informed.

A further 29% said they felt informed, 8% very well informed, 9% said neither informed or uninformed, and 1% did not know.

Business owners were also asked to select a statement which best described their position regarding the referendum.

In response, 39% said they have always known how they will vote while 17% have made a firm decision on how to vote.

A further 20% said they have made a decision but could change their mind while 23% are undecided.

Asked what would influence their vote, Scottish businesses highlighted the governance of the EU and the free movement of people as top concerns.

Other factors include the economic impact on the UK and the administrative burden on businesses as a result of complying with regulation.

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

"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.''

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