The UK’s relationship with the EU has come under increasingly scrutiny since the start of the financial crisis, with the likelihood of an upcoming referendum growing each year. However, despite the EU’s floundering economy, a recent poll has shown that UK manufacturers would vote to remain a part of the European bloc.
The poll was conducted by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, which represents over 6,000 companies, and found that 85% would vote to stay in the UK and only 7% would opt to leave. The survey was carried out in August and included 250 companies.
The Chief Executive of EEF, Terry Scuoler, said: “Despite the continued problems in the Eurozone, manufacturers remain overwhelmingly of the view that our economic wellbeing is inextricably linked to the EU and we must stay in membership.”
These findings come in spite of the impact of the EU’s manufacturing market on the UK, which has notoriously suffered over the last few years, and has led to a saturation of market share due to increased supply. However, without EU membership it is likely that there will be less demand on UK manufacturing exports to the EU mainland, partly due to the increased costs associated with exporting products to a foreign economic zone.
Meanwhile, two other surveys carried out in August revealed that the growth in the UK manufacturing sector has slowed, marking a decrease in both new orders and output.
The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) decreased from 54.8 in July to 52.5 in August, its lowest rating in 14 months. Similarly, manufacturing across the Eurozone fell in September to a PMI of 50.5.
“It makes no sense to disengage from our major market and it remains fanciful to think we can just pull up the drawbridge and walk away with no consequences,” Terry Scuoler said.