Contractors favour UK staying in EU

The UK’s largest trade body of contractors says its members are more likely to vote to remain in the European Union than leave.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed said 49% of contractors plan to vote for the UK to retain EU membership, while 41% plan to vote for a Brexit.

This represents a “significant swing” from last year, IPSE said, when it also surveyed its membership about the EU referendum, due to be held on Thursday June 23rd.

Back then, in October, a clear majority of respondents said they would vote ‘remain’ if the referendum was held tomorrow, and only around a quarter planned to vote ‘leave.’

“Like the rest of the British public, [contractors] are giving the 'remain' vote a narrow lead,” says IPSE’s Chris Bryce. “[But] 'leave' have made significant gains since we last surveyed”.

As a result, “neither side can rest on their laurels,” he said, and both campaigns “need to clearly set out what would change for people running their own business in either scenario.”

The association surveyed almost 1,600 of its members - made up of freelancers and contractors, and separately asked whether ‘remain’ or ‘leave’ would be best for their business.

Around half of respondents believe remaining in the EU is better for their business, while a third believe leaving would be best, and 17 per cent “don't know.”

More of a consensus is around the prime minister's ‘EU deal.’ When asked about its impact on their business, almost 8 in 10 of the contractors said it won’t make any difference.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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