Do foreigners invest in the UK mainly because it is a member of the EU?
Does the EU negotiate better trading agreements with non-EU countries than the UK could do alone?
Will unemployment rise if we leave the EU?
77 per cent of car-makers have agreed that remaining in the EU is “best for our business”, and 59 per cent said that Exit would have a “negative impact”.
The Institute of Directors, which represents business leaders, is neutral but its poll showed that a large majority of members was in favour of staying In but 40% said that they had not yet discussed it with their Boards.
The free flow of capital is one of the four freedoms of the EU and if we left then there is a risk that any barriers will deter investors.
The biggest European investors in the UK are the Netherlands with 15%, France with 8% and Germany with 7%. Individually they are overshadowed by the US with 28%, but the cumulative European figure of 58% is more than double that.
|Industry Group 2014/15
|Energy and Infrastructure||241||14, 738|
|Financial and professional services||515||34,921|
|Creative industries and ICT||486||13,590|
|Electronics and Telecoms||110||4,538|
|Grand total||1,988||107, 658|
There are some sectors closely tied to the EU such as cars and food. It is very unlikely that they would just close down and walk off to Europe but they would have to take into account any extra costs for new investment.
A CBI poll concluded that 80% of businesses want the UK to stay in the EU.
There is some confusion at Toyota where the chief executive said that Exit would make no difference while the UK chief executive said it would be a disaster – as did many other car manufacturers such as BMW who circulated all their employees with the reasons for staying In.
It is generally the larger companies wanting us to stay in the EU. They are multinationals who can move their capital around most easily. Smaller businesses are more negative as they see a lot of the EU regulations being time wasting and expensive.
However, it is difficult to deny that Exit is seen more negatively by industry which does not like being exposed to the uncertainty and the currency risks while the terms of the EU relationship are being negotiated.
EU labour laws have definitely favoured the employees with the regulations in such areas as parental leave, protection of employment on transfer of business etc. The Unions and Labour are generally wanting to stay in the EU because they believe the UK would reduce this protection.
The LSE has done a study on the effect of Brexit on foreign direct investment
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Industry is too intertwined with its EU partners
We will have influence over EU red tape
Manufacturers like the economics but hate the bureaucracy
It is easier to recruit from across the EU
There is far too much red tape
Our economy is growing much faster than EU
We will be affected by Eurozone problems
Tech companies would be more entrepreneurial