Latest polls show small businesses are evenly split over whether Britain should stay in the European Union. However, 68% believe that the public will vote to stay in the EU on 23rd June 2016.
By comparison, big business is determined to remain in the EU fold. The Confederation of British Industry said 80% of its membership wanted to remain and only 5% would support Brexit
. It said the survey backed up a string of votes across the organisation’s regional and national committees in favour of continued membership.
The high number of businesses predicting that the UK will stay in the EU indicate that there is real concern regarding the uncertainty Brexit
could unleash on the economy.
Huge blow to the UK economy
The World Trade Organisation's former director-general, Peter Sutherland, has warned that the UK economy risks a "huge blow" if it leaves the EU. He also added that manufacturers would face “appalling complexity”.
Leave campaigners have argued that if Britain were to leave the EU, it could trade freely with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules.
However, Mr Sutherland stated that the WTO could not give the right to provide services.
"At the moment the banking system of Britain provides services all over Europe because by being part of the European Union they have what's called a single passport and they can operate everywhere.
"If Britain left the European Union it would not have a single passport and many financial services companies might say 'we can't have our headquarters in a country that is outside the European Union' and they might well move.
"This would be a huge blow to the British economy,"
Mr Sutherland also warned that manufacturers outside the EU would face more regulations.
"If you sell manufactured goods into the European Union under WTO rules, you have to be able to prove - and this means inspections at borders - that the component parts are from Britain."
"If, for example, you are exporting cars and the engines are made in another country, that will all have to be checked and different tariff rates might be applicable to some of the components."
"You're in a new ball game of appalling complexity and the prospect of that should be extremely worrying to everyone in Britain."
Chancellor George Osborne stated last month that Britain leaving the EU could spark a year-long recession and cost 820,000 jobs.
Is it all doom and gloom?
The Leave camp argue that all of this is scare-mongering by the Remain campaigners. They state that by leaving the EU, Britain will save money from not having to pay membership fees, be freed from the never ending red-tape produced by Brussels and be able to create lucrative trade deals with China, India and other emerging markets.
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