Business group London First is backing calls to speak out against EuroscepticsNovember 7, 2014
Dr David Lutton, Director of European Policy at London First, said EU membership was critical to UK economic success, with London at particular risk if the country left the single market.
“The capital relies heavily on relationships with the EU as a service sector economy, a home for European head offices, a financial services centre, and a hub of highly-skilled people,” he said.
“One of the main reasons companies come to London, bringing jobs and opportunity for the whole of the UK, is because the city is a springboard to Europe – the biggest economy in the world.
“If we are left outside the EU after a referendum we would no longer be able to offer that prize to businesses and London would suffer because of it.”
Recent London First research on the UK’s relationship with the EU includes:
- London and the EU, which found the UK needs to be at the heart of the EU if London is to flourish in the future. It concluded the UK could not hope to use Europe as an ‘a la carte’ menu and had to accept the four freedoms of the single market.
- An increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in London are trading overseas, with almost two-thirds (60 per cent) now doing so, according to a survey by Avanta Serviced Office Group, in partnership with London First. More than 200 small business owners were quizzed as part of the study and of those trading globally, the vast majority (94 per cent) are exporting goods and services. The most popular trading countries for London-based SMEs are those within the Eurozone (48 per cent), followed by other EU countries (29 per cent). However, many others are choosing to do business even further afield with almost a quarter (23 per cent) trading in the Middle East, while 22 per cent are also operating out of Australia and New Zealand.