89% of big businesses don’t want what the EU will become


We all know that big business is in favour of EU membership, don’t we?  After all, as Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones put it to Nigel Farage in the Cardiff debate, “The CBI says we must stay in the EU”.  (Nigel replied “The CBI has been wrong on every major issue since the Gold Standard in 1929”).

But a new IPSOS-MORI survey of 102 of the UK’s top 500 companies gives a slightly different view.

Ipsos Mori is arguably the most pro-EU of large polling companies, and the respondents are from a segment traditionally seen as strongly pro-EU.  Two thirds of them have operations in the EU and nearly a half regard themselves as multi-nationals.  Yet the results were less promising than Europhiles might hope.

39% want the relationship to remain broadly the same (which is not on offer as the Eurozone will integrate and ultimately draw the UK in – something which only 7% of respondents wanted).

49% want to drop political union (i.e. they want to leave the EU and return to trade only – it’s unclear whether this is EFTA, EEA or WTO).

1% want to leave altogether (presumably happy with either the WTO or a bespoke trade agreement).

Half say leaving the EU will make no difference to trade with the rest of the world.  Three quarters said it will make no difference to recruitment.

There is little or no market impact caused by referendum “uncertainty” – only 5% said they had delayed or reduced investment as a result.

This means that half of the UK’s biggest companies want to leave the EU (and yet the FT spins this as “captains of industry want to stay”).

It would be more accurate to read the survey as revealing that, even amongst the UK’s biggest businesses, 89% don’t want what the EU will become, and for those that see benefits the biggest is the ability to use EU membership to compress UK wages.

Given that the survey was conducted by Ipsos Mori, and focused on a traditionally pro-EU segment of the UK, the pro-EU camp must be wetting their beds.  No wonder the FT has to spin so hard.


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19 Responses to 89% of big businesses don’t want what the EU will become

  1. lasancmt says:

    So basically only 1% want’s what UKIP wants which is to leave, never mind the consequences.
    Thanks for another pro EU post Roger and a thumbs up to what little Cameron hopes to achieve.

    Let’s face it, just by tweaking the question in a poll or referendum just a little bit you can get any result you want.

    ukip have been making a big thing of certain companies like Airbus, Nissan, Toyota publicly stating that they would not leave the UK after a brexit.

    This may be factually correct in that the UK itself is a big market in it’s own right and after a brexit we may still be able to sell a few cars to the likes of Russia.

    What is for sure is that Japanese factories don’t open up factories to ship cars back to the far east. 1st our wages are far to high and then add augmented transport costs.

    The folly of #brexit will not manifest itself in the first year after brexit. That doesn’t mean companies are already making contingency plans to move lock stock and barrel. Certainly if it comes to a decision to make a new model for the European market and it’s a toss up between Spain and UK: Guess which side the coin will land, whatever they say right now to avoid the wrath of outraged kippers.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Have you ever run a business for any length of time? And what/where was it?

      The EU and USA have effectively banned us from business with Russia. And Russia has blocked much of our stuff. FFS whats the point in working in an environment like that?

      I’d prefer to be out there with the rest of us doing our own deals to deliver to a Customer what he wants at a competative no strings attached price. Thats what pays the freaking taxes that those who wish to p*ss it all up a wall want!

    • catweazle666 says:


    • Christopher Browne says:

      How do the Japanese survive outside of any trading block? or Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc.

      I remember reading many years ago that Nissan was exporting cars from the UK back to Japan.

      • lasancmt says:

        Who told you Japan and Canada are not in trading blocks? One of your kipper friends? Read up on ASEAN and NAFTA. I am sure Nissan will export one or two cars back to Japan, tha’ts not the isssue. Is that the reason to build an expensive plant in the UK? I don’t thinks so.

      • catweazle666 says:

        lasancmt says: “I am sure Nissan will export one or two cars back to Japan”

        Dear me, “one or two cars”?

        You really haven’t the first idea what you’re wittering about, do you?

        Oh, and just in case it’s escaped your attention, there is some very considerable difference between a trading bloc such as ASEAN or NAFTA and a federal republic such as the USA or the final ambition of the EU with its vow of “ever closer union”.

        Clueless, full of horse manure and patronising with it.

  2. Andy says:

    A survey of just 102 companies does not seem to be a sufficiently large sample to make any judgement of any consequence.

  3. ian wragg says:

    Roger, as an MEP perhaps you have some insight into why people like Cameron and his mate Gideon are so desperate to keep us shackled to this undemocratic, corrupt entity.
    Who is pulling the strings and what is the game plan. We all know about agenda 21 but even the most stupid of politicians can see the EU is a travesty and building windmills is the economics of the mad house.
    Enlighten us please.

    • Perhaps this article by Alan Sked will help you to understand the mindset of successive Conservative leaders and others to the question of governance. Interesting about Macmillan, Heath and Hurd.

      How a secretive elite created the EU to build a world government
      Voters in Britain’s referendum need to understand that the European Union was about building a federal superstate from day one
      By Prof Alan Sked
      8:30AM GMT 27 Nov 2015
      As the debate over the forthcoming EU referendum gears up, it would be wise perhaps to remember how Britain was led into membership in the first place. It seems to me that most people have little idea why one of the victors of the Second World War should have become almost desperate to join this “club”. That’s a shame, because answering that question is key to understanding why the EU has gone so wrong.
      Most students seem to think that Britain was in dire economic straits, and that the European Economic Commuity – as it was then called – provided an economic engine which could revitalise our economy. Others seem to believe that after the Second World War Britain needed to recast her geopolitical position away from empire, and towards a more realistic one at the heart of Europe. Neither of these arguments, however, makes any sense at all.
      The EEC in the 1960s and 1970s was in no position to regenerate anyone’s economy. It spent most of its meagre resources on agriculture and fisheries and had no means or policies to generate economic growth.
      When growth did happen, it did not come from the EU. From Ludwig Erhard’s supply-side reforms in West Germany in 1948 to Thatcher’s privatisation of nationalised industry in the Eighties, European growth came from reforms introduced by individual countries which were were copied elsewhere. EU policy has always been either irrelevant or positively detrimental (as was the case with the euro).
      Nor did British growth ever really lag behind Europe’s. Sometimes it surged ahead. In the 1950s Western Europe had a growth rate of 3.5 per cent; in the 1960s, it was 4.5 per cent. But in 1959, when Harold Macmillan took office, the real annual growth rate of British GDP, according to the Office of National Statistics, was almost 6 per cent. It was again almost 6 per cent when de Gaulle vetoed our first application to join the EEC in 1963.
      In 1973, when we entered the EEC, our annual national growth rate in real terms was a record 7.4 per cent. The present Chancellor would die for such figures. So the economic basket-case argument doesn’t work.
      What about geopolitics? What argument in the cold light of hindsight could have been so compelling as to make us kick our Second-World-War Commonwealth allies in the teeth to join a combination of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany and Italy?
      Four of these countries held no international weight whatsoever. Germany was occupied and divided. France, meanwhile, had lost one colonial war in Vietnam and another in Algeria. De Gaulle had come to power to save the country from civil war. Most realists must surely have regarded these states as a bunch of losers. De Gaulle, himself a supreme realist, pointed out that Britain had democratic political institutions, world trade links, cheap food from the Commonwealth, and was a global power. Why would it want to enter the EEC?
      The answer is that Harold Macmillan and his closest advisers were part of an intellectual tradition that saw the salvation of the world in some form of world government based on regional federations. He was also a close acquaintance of Jean Monnet, who believed the same. It was therefore Macmillan who became the representative of the European federalist movement in the British cabinet.
      In a speech in the House of Commons he even advocated a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) before the real thing had been announced. He later arranged for a Treaty of Association to be signed between the UK and the ECSC, and it was he who ensured that a British representative was sent to the Brussels negotiations following the Messina Conference, which gave birth to the EEC.
      In the late 1950s he pushed negotiations concerning a European Free Trade Association towards membership of the EEC. Then, when General de Gaulle began to turn the EEC into a less federalist body, he took the risk of submitting a full British membership application in the hope of frustrating Gaullist ambitions.
      His aim, in alliance with US and European proponents of a federalist world order, was to frustrate the emerging Franco-German alliance which was seen as one of French and German nationalism.
      Monnet met secretly with Heath and Macmillan on innumerable occasions to facilitate British entry. Indeed, he was informed before the British Parliament of the terms in which the British approach to Europe would be framed.
      Despite advice from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, that membership would mean the end of British parliamentary sovereignty, Macmillan deliberately misled the House of Commons — and practically everyone else, from Commonwealth statesmen to cabinet colleagues and the public — that merely minor commercial negotiations were involved. He even tried to deceive de Gaulle that he was an anti-federalist and a close friend who would arrange for France, like Britain, to receive Polaris missiles from the Americans. De Gaulle saw completely through him and vetoed the British bid to enter.
      Macmillan left Edward Heath to take matters forward, and Heath, along with Douglas Hurd, arranged — according to the Monnet papers — for the Tory Party to become a (secret) corporate member of Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe.
      According to Monnet’s chief aide and biographer, Francois Duchene, both the Labour and Liberal Parties later did the same. Meanwhile the Earl of Gosford, one of Macmillan’s foreign policy ministers in the House of Lords, actually informed the House that the aim of the government’s foreign policy was world government.
      Monnet’s Action Committee was also given financial backing by the CIA and the US State Department. The Anglo-American establishment was now committed to the creation of a federal United States of Europe.
      Today, this is still the case. Powerful international lobbies are already at work attempting to prove that any return to democratic self-government on the part of Britain will spell doom. American officials have already been primed to state that such a Britain would be excluded from any free trade deal with the USA and that the world needs the TTIP trade treaty which is predicated on the survival of the EU.
      Fortunately, Republican candidates in the USA are becoming Eurosceptics and magazines there like The National Interest are publishing the case for Brexit. The international coalition behind Macmillan and Heath will find things a lot more difficult this time round — especially given the obvious difficulties of the Eurozone, the failure of EU migration policy and the lack of any coherent EU security policy.
      Most importantly, having been fooled once, the British public will be much more difficult to fool again.

      • lasancmt says:

        That’s a nice bit of plagiarism copied from your nutty professor Skid mark or whatever his name is, but like all conspiracy theories it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

        The flaw in the thinking behind his polemic is to subtly sneak it into our head that big supra-national government is always bad, National(listic) government infinitely preferable, because they give us all this wonderful growth with infinitely adaptable economic policies which like like Goldilocks porridge will be ‘just right’ for the UK.

        Anne Palmer (see comment below) stumbles much closer to the truth when she says ‘National Governments are pointless’. They increasingly are in this globalised world.

        I’ll give you a simple example: The way national governments tax their citizens on income is a huge mess I know because I’ve paid tax in UK, Netherlands, Belgium and France. Over decades governments of the day introduce so many loop holes and exceptions that you need expensive tax lawyers to navigate through the morass. Simple citizens just pay up and shut up. Ultra rich people pay nothing, apart from their expensive tax advisors. Countries like France put paper forms dating back to the fifties on-line and cal that e-progress. People fill these huge colourful forms in on-line, only to print them off and for some other bugger to type it all in again, mistakes and all.

        So this leads me to make my point: I’d rather have one expensive but well thought out simple EU tax return, rather than having to deal with the stupidity and national quircks of 28 member states. So OK, to build such a system would take years and it would probably overrun cost estimates three times before it was delivered like all EU projects, but still the result would be infinitely better than 28 individual nonsense system like the French one I discussed. This is just one small repeatable example.

        So I say bring it on, let’s have more EU, let’s have less waste and please stop pretending, if one part of the EU is doing a bit better than the other, that it was because of their nationalistic government serving porridge that was ‘just right’. It’s business people that create wealth not the likes of Cameron and Osborne. Certainly not UKIP’S beer swillingNigel Farage and clueless Roger Helmer.

        And you know which country would benefit most from building all these simplified super efficient EU wide systems? It would be the British service companies and IT professionals, because at least that’s one thing we’re rather good at.

    • Richard111 says:

      Yes, I second that question.
      When the EU was just six nations I thought it might be a good idea especially after two world wars. Now that it is 27 nations it has become unmanageable. The EU seems to be working overtime to hold on to UK financial support.

      • catweazle666 says:

        “The EU seems to be working overtime to hold on to UK financial support.”

        If it loses it it will be utterly bankrupt, Germany can’t keep on propping up the PIIGS indefinitely, especially now they’ve driven away large chunks of their industry via excessive energy costs and crippled their benefit system with a million or more ubassimilatable immigrants.

  4. Russell Hicks says:

    People are rich in Rio but the quality of life is appalling. Step outside your fabulous apartment and you’re in a world few of us would want to live in. If we value our beautiful, safe country and want control of our borders, allowing in only civilised, qualified people who have something to add, then we must leave the EU. It’s that simple. A better quality of life will follow.

    • lasancmt says:

      Peope are rich in RIO? What planet you from?

      • Reading your posts lasancmt, it is clear you live in bigoted ignorance of the real world, just to update you, from Wikipedia: Rio de Janeiro is the 2nd richest city in Brazil, behind São Paulo and the 30th richest city in the world with a GDP of R$ 201,9 billion in 2010. The per capita income for the city was R$22,903 in 2007 (around US$14,630).[107] According to Mercer’s city rankings of cost of living for expatriate employees, Rio de Janeiro ranks 12th among the most expensive cities in the world in 2011, up from the 29th position in 2010, just behind São Paulo (ranked 10th), and ahead of London, Paris, Milan, and New York City.[108][109] Rio also has the most expensive hotel rates in Brazil, and the daily rate of its five star hotels are the second most expensive in the world after only NYC.

      • lasancmt says:

        Yeah but WTF has it got to do with #brexit 😂

  5. Anne Palmer says:

    There is no point in having ANY NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS OR PARLIAMENTS IF THE EU IS TO SPEAK for every once FREE Country that will be trapped in the EU forever, if the EU is to speak for ALL on the matters of TRADE to the mightly USA FOREVER.

  6. Pingback: This EU porridge is just right for me. | IdentitySpace

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