The AccountancyAge.com poll saw 2,500 readers take part, with almost 31% backing withdrawal from the EU.
This startling statistic comes just weeks after the UK Independent Party – which advocates UK withdrawal from the EU – made significant gains in the European parliamentary elections.
A spokesperson for UKIP told Accountancy Age: ‘We do not feel British business would suffer if we pulled out of the EU. Of course there would be winners and losers, but overall, benefits would be felt.’
Pro-European lobby group Britain in Europe said that its experience was that ‘companies who trade with Europe, and see the benefits directly, are the most favourable towards the EU’. A spokesperson said companies that opposed EU membership were typically those that traded locally or regionally. ‘It would certainly not be in the interests of the UK economy as a whole,’ he added.
Tory shadow industry secretary Stephen O’Brien said the findings were ‘a shocking reflection of the fact that up to 80% of the £30bn cost to business of new regulations since 1998 hails from Brussels’.
He also slammed the government’s decision to sign up to the EU constitution, which he said eroded the UK’s ‘cherished labour market flexibility’.
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