UK contractors want to stay in EU
The majority of the UK’s freelance and contract professionals believe the country should remain part of the European Union, a survey shows.
More than three in five contractors surveyed by The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed said they would vote to remain in the EU if a referendum were held tomorrow.
Only about a quarter of the 3,150 IPSE members who were surveyed said they would vote for the UK to no longer be a member of the EU, while 14 per cent said they were undecided if they would vote ‘remain’ or ‘leave’.
The association’s chief executive, Chris Bryce, thinks that both camps have some campaigning to do if they want contractors to cast an informed vote by the end of 2017.
“We found many freelancers don’t understand the implications of staying in the EU or leaving,” he said, despite either outcome being bound to have a “profound effect” on them.
“The ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ campaigns must spell out what would change for people running a business if their campaign succeeds or fails.”
When asked whether Britain’s continued membership would be in the best interests of their business, 4 in 10 of the respondents said it would, regardless of whether any reforms are achieved.
Yet if some reforms are pushed through, as David Cameron has vowed to do, almost a further third of the freelancers could be convinced that membership is the best course of action for their business.
Twelve per cent were wholly unconvinced however, saying that the UK leaving the EU is the only option for their business, seemingly because they think the regulatory burden would be lessened. Others said they want less non-EU immigration and greater accountability for the EU.
If these contractors get their way, the impact of such an ‘out’ vote by the UK divides contractors – 22 per cent think their client would leave the UK, compared with 20 per cent who think their end-user would stay.
“Once the package of proposed reforms is confirmed and a date has been set, we will go back to our members to see if this has changed how they intend to vote,” said Mr Bryce. “It’s essential freelancers are clear about the implications of a vote either way.”
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