This week ADS published its latest survey of our Members’ views ahead of the EU referendum. The response across all four sectors – Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space – was overwhelmingly in favour of continued membership, with 70 per cent saying that it would be better for their business if the UK remained in the EU.
Of this figure, 69% of SME Members say it would be better for their business if the UK continued as part of the EU and 73% of larger companies.
For ADS Members, the benefits of the UK remaining part of the EU are clear: access to integrated European supply chains; R&D funding which enables the UK to compete globally – something that is vital for our sectors which invest heavily in technology and innovation to keep ahead of the competition, and the benefits that collaborating with European companies bring.
It is apparent that ADS Members want to see the UK take a stronger, more active role in Brussels in addition to retaining the UK’s ability to influence and shape regulation. The Prime Minister demonstrated that it is possible to shape an agenda at a European level in securing agreement on the renegotiation package back in February.
The survey also showed that 82 per cent of ADS Members export to the EU, in fact more Members export to the EU than any other region. As a result, a seamless transfer of goods and services along with the strength of the EU to ensure we have strong trading relationships with international markets remains vitally important. This contrasts heavily with the risk and uncertainty associated with leaving, something which makes our Members uncomfortable.
The decision now rests with the electorate. By undertaking this survey, and one last year which was supported by an economic assessment by KPMG, we feel that the views our strategically important sectors have been factually represented. Ongoing membership of the European Union is considered good for companies, their employees and the future prosperity of the country.
The CBI has also published a report which sets out what the EU referendum means for national prosperity. The report suggests that as well as a negative impact on employment, the average household could be worse off; it also details their Member survey in which 80 per cent of respondents believe remaining part of the EU is better for their business.
More information on the value of EU membership to the sectors represented by ADS can be found here.