FIFTY businesspeople attended Worcestershire and Herefordshire Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit Panel Debate last week, held at and sponsored by mfg Solicitors in Kidderminster.
The debate was chaired by Chamber CEO Mike Ashton, with speakers Malcom Harbour CBE, Former MEP for the West Midlands and Mark Garnier MP for the Wyre Forest representing the Remain campaign. Representing the Leave campaign were Johnnie Arkwright, Chairman of Business for Britain West Midlands and Peter Jewell, from Redditch, deputy treasurer for Ukip.
Some of the main topics debated included the current benefits of the Single Market, exports to the EU, British sovereignty, medium term economy and migration. Questions from the floor also prompted discussion about the British manufacturing sector, unemployment and recruitment in the NHS, impacts on inward investment and national security. To conclude, each panel member was asked to state their single key factor for remaining in or leaving the EU.
Mike Ashton, Chamber Chief Executive, said: “Thanks to mfg Solicitors for hosting another brilliant event and to our four speakers for taking the time to inform and debate many of the questions surrounding the EU Referendum. I enjoyed hearing from both sides of the debate and overall encourage all businesses to research both sides of the argument and to use your vote.”
A snap poll conducted at the event showed that 52 per cent of voters would choose to Remain in the EU, 24 per cent wanted to Leave and 24 per cent were unsure. A similar snap poll conducted at the Chamber’s Business Expo in March showed 65 per cent of business people voting to Remain, 24 per cent voting to leave and 11 per cent unsure.
Recent national data from the British Chambers of Commerce revealed 54 per cent of business people would vote to Remain and 37 per cent would vote to Leave, with nearly 90 per cent saying they were unlikely to change their vote.