Businesses back EU rethink

The majority of British businesses favour a renegotiated relationship with the EU with certain powers returning to Westminster, a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey has found.

Of the 3,200 businesses surveyed by the BCC, 60% wanted to see a renegotiated relationship – a 6% increase on Q1 2014.

The survey also found that:

  • 59% of firms think the UK’s business and economic prospects would be damaged by leaving the EU – a 2% fall since Q1
  • 46% believe further integration with the EU would hinder the UK’s economic prospects.

The BCC’s director general, John Longworth, said the results showed that businesses don’t want to get “caught up in the whirlpool of further integration”.

“The prospects for UK business and trade would be improved substantially if meaningful EU reform were to take place. Too many services companies, which together form the backbone of the UK export base, remain frustrated by the slow progress of the single market in services,” he said.

In other Europe news, official figures from Eurostat showed that unemployment in the euro area was 11.5% in July – a fall of 0.4% on the year. Greece (27.2%) and Spain (24.5%) had the highest unemployment rates across the region.

Inflation in the euro area is expected to fall to 0.3% in August.