British firms want relationship with Europe to change

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FEW companies want to see Britain fully withdraw from the European Union, although many would like power over key areas such as employment law and health and safety transferred back from Brussels, a new survey showed today.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which polled almost 4,400 companies across the UK, found only 18 per cent believed an exit from Europe would have a positive impact, while 64 per cent said Britain would be best served by remaining in the union, so long as it regained specific powers.

BCC director general John Longworth said: “We now have confirmation of what we’ve suspected for some time: namely, that employment and health and safety are the areas where companies would like to see legislative competence return to Westminster from Brussels.

“From a business perspective, any renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union must therefore focus on these areas, which are not integral to the functioning of the single market in goods and services.”