Nearly half of UKs construction sector SMEs backs Brexit


Forty per cent of SMEs said the UK would be able to “freely legislate” to meet the needs of British business if it left the EU, according to a survey by the Federation of Master Builders.

The survey also found that 22.4 per cent of SMEs felt a Brexit could result in less red tape and bureaucracy.

A further 14 per cent said that an exit could increase public sector capital investment through money saved from the UK’s financial contributions to the EU.

Only 20 per cent of respondents said there would be no positive consequences of leaving the EU.

However, the vast majority of members said they would vote with their personal views in mind, with only 17 per cent saying their decision would be based on their business interests.

The research, which surveyed 214 FMB members, found that 20 per cent of SME builders believe staying in the EU would grow and stabilise the economy.

More than half – 53 per cent – of all respondents said they did not feel well informed on the issues that could impact their business.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said the ongoing debate over Brexit “has done little to enlighten [small construction firms] on the issues that really matter”.

“It just goes to show that although it’s important to explore the business case for leaving or remaining within the EU, for many people their decision will be based first and foremost on other drivers,” he said.

“These could include the desire to be part of the wider European community or a compulsion to reclaim British national sovereignty.”

He added that “few impartial facts” had been added by either side and it was “no wonder” that most builders would be opting to vote based on wider personal beliefs.

Research by the CBI showed that more than three-quarters of its construction members wanted to see the UK remain in the EU.