MOST British businesses are opposed to any further European integration and many would like the UK to negotiate a looser relationship with the European Union (EU), a survey has found.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) polled 1,840 members and found that only 9 per cent want further integration.
While only 12 per cent of firms would like Britain to leave the EU altogether, almost half want the UK to distance itself from Europe. A quarter are happy with the status quo.
BCC director general John Longworth said: “Nearly four decades after Britain joined the European Community, it is astonishing that British firms seem to feel that the balance of advantage of EU membership is lessening.
“Businesses are pragmatic: they want to be part of a European single market, but only if it delivers real and open access for British goods and services.”
He said that politicians should “tread carefully” and consider how to achieve a single market that works for business while ensuring that legislation from Brussels doesn’t damage economic prospects.
Separate data published yesterday revealed that the focus of British exports is shifting away from the struggling eurozone and targeting high-growth emerging economies. For the first time in more than three decades, the UK is now exporting more goods to countries outside the EU to those within.
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