20 May 2014 by Alexandra Jones
The majority (90%) of small and mid-cap quoted companies would like the UK to remain in the EU, according to the latest quarterly Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index, published by the Quoted Companies Alliance/BDO.
Advisors to small and mid-cap quoted companies echo this sentiment, with the majority (85%) supporting the UK remaining in the EU and with only 12% calling for the UK to leave.
Only 4% of companies support the UK leaving the EU completely.
Almost three quarters (71%) of companies and just over half (57%) of advisors believe that the UK should renegotiate its position in the EU.
Tim Ward, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance, said: ‘Small and mid-cap quoted companies clearly see value in the UK remaining part of the European Union. For them, it is not a binary in or out question. We have found that small and mid-cap companies would rather the UK sorts out how it can optimise its position within the EU system rather than be sitting on the outside looking in.’
However, two-fifths of small and mid-cap quoted companies still need persuading of the overall value of EU membership. Whilst 40% of companies believe that the UK’s membership has a positive impact, just as many feel it has no impact (39%) on their business.
Scott Knight, Partner, BDO LLP, comments: ‘Small and mid-cap companies want stability and fear the uncertainty that would arise from a major political upheaval, such as leaving the EU. While individuals may be more inclined to vote politically, businesses tend to act pragmatically. It is worth noting that it is the smaller public companies, which are entrepreneurial in nature, that tend to associate the EU with restrictive regulation and are, therefore, more likely to want out.’