West Midlands named most euro-sceptic region

West Midlands named most euro-sceptic region

The West Midlands is the UK’s most euro-sceptic region, according to a new survey published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) on the EU referendum.

According to the survey, if the EU referendum was held tomorrow, 45.2% of West Midlands businesses would vote to stay in the EU, whilst almost as many (44.8%) would vote to leave. A number of respondents, 9.7%, were undecided.

Overall, 54% of UK businesspeople say they will vote to remain, with 37% voting to leave. However, the ‘leave’ vote is now 7% higher than it was in the last BCC survey, which was conducted in February.

The BCC said that divisions had emerged between the two sides, with those trading with other EU markets the most likely to want to remain, with those who do not more likely to want to leave. Size of business was also a factor, with bigger firms more likely to want to stay.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “These statistics paint a picture of a divided West Midlands business community on the topic of the EU referendum.

“Whilst 45% of respondent s revealed that they intend to vote ‘remain’ on 23 June, the same number of businesses say they will be voting to ‘leave’.

“Only 10% of respondents are undecided, or are not intending to vote.

“Since the last round of surveying in January, the ‘remain’ vote has fallen by 5% as the ‘leave’ cohort has grown by 7%. This represents a clear narrowing of opinion within the region over recent months.

“Compared to the national statistics, the West Midlands business vote is a much closer call.”

BQ will cover stories which are both for, and against, the referendum about Britain’s membership of the EU.