The majority of the owners of small businesses are concerned at the lack of quality in the debates leading up to the EU Referendum and are fed up with the exaggerated claims of the “Remain” and “Vote Leave” camps. A recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses found that:

  • 52% do not feel well informed
  • 48% want to know more about the economic impact
  • 42% could have their vote swayed

Here is our suggestion for both camps about how they should win the vote of the 5 million + votes of small and medium sized business owners:

  1. What is the truth about EU governance of businesses? Is there really too much red tape (and if so, what is it?) or do we need enough regulation to make sure that bad businesses cannot trade their poor quality goods and services?
  2. Will the free movement of people help small businesses or is it a source of cheap labour from the countries with the greatest economic problems at any one time?
  3. What is the exact proportion of goods or services won via OJEU Notices between large businesses and SMEs?
  4. What proportion of OJEU Notices are won by companies from the home nations (and particularly the UK)?
  5. Is there any point in SMEs trying to get access to the single market, or is it just a club for wealthy nations and large businesses!?
  6. What funding from the EU comes back to small businesses?
  7. If we were not members of the EU, what would be the net savings (don’t bother us with gross figures and the rebate – just tell us the net figure, something that everybody is used to whether they look at a profit and loss account or look at their take-home pay)?
  8. How would the net savings be spent in relations to the SMEs? In other words, could they receive the same financial support as now – or will it be cut? Could support be increased?
  9. Will the so-called damage to the economy be a short-term blip or a long-term effect? Give us reasons, whatever your argument is.
  10. Is there anything to stop the UK, the EU or any nation saying something like “you can have the same trading agreement as Canada, or the EU or any other nation or group”? If so, why? Are trade negotiations dragged out for years for no valid reason?
  11. Now that geography matters less in world trade (not at all for services and less so for goods) is there any real merit in a policy that gives priority to trade with a few dozen slow growing economies rather than every one of the 200 nations in the world?  If so, why?