8 reasons the UK should NOT leave the EU


We asked business leaders what they thought – it was pretty unanimous

We’ve been promised a referendum, and that’s what we’ll get, but these businesses already know what they think is best for the UK’s relationship with the EU.

1. We’d find it hard to run our overseas operations

CEO Thomas Villeneuve from the social platform for flatsharing, Weroom, said: “Britain leaving the EU would be a bad thing for businesses since the UK is key for business development in the EU. Without its inclusion, it would be more difficult to offer a unified service to Weroom’s customers who are moving to and from the UK to flatshare, as European laws wouldn’t apply in the UK.”


2. It would put SMEs at risk

Nigel Beighton, vice president of technology, cloud company Rackspace said: “Business leaders need to think about how they are going to house their data in foreign countries. Within the EU, differences in legislation and uncertainty can form imposing barriers; outside of the EU, these are exacerbated. We should be looking at measures to integrate and normalise processes, rather than obfuscate as a British exit from the union almost certainly would. SMEs have the most at stake because they are least able to afford legal consultation.”


3. It will be harder to get the right talent

Philip Rooke, CEO of personalised t-shirt company Spreadshirt, said: “As the CEO of German-headquartered, but international, company I see the advantages of the EU for business relations and our extended team across Europe. We rely on people being able to move for work and definitely see the advantages of this; we have over 20 nationalities in our business and sell all over the world. So we are the positive side of immigration and both our business and host country, Germany, benefit from it.  If the UK exits it will not only be harder to help the UK sellers on our platform to expand internationally and make money overseas, but for UK companies in general it will be very tough to do business in Europe.”


4. It’s better to reform

Frances Dickens, CEO of media barter specialists Astus Group, said: “We have to face the facts that the UK is not the economic superpower we once were and EU membership strengthens our hand in terms of trade agreements with the rest of the world as well as providing access to a huge market of customers, investment and business opportunities. However the terms of our  EU membership need radical revision, the EU budget is too big, the UK requires greater control over employment laws and as the Business for Britain campaign argues, we should be pushing to exempt the 95% of companies that don’t export to Europe from burdensome EU regulation. When it comes to negotiating the UK’s future in the EU, David Cameron faces a very tough challenge – UK businesses cannot afford for him to fail.”


5. It would cause huge economic upheaval for the world

Peter Burgess, director at recruitment company Retail Human Resources, said: “An exit would only be bad news for the UK and it will also cause massive economic upheaval in Europe and around the world; and we will be held responsible. Of course we will get a trade agreement but such an agreement will still require us to pay in. We will be in the same place we are in now but without a say on how the rules are made.  There is very little up-side but potentially a devastating down side.”


6. Global companies would move away

Semyon Dovzhik, managing director of start-up Company Address, said: “Leaving the EU could have a devastating effect on the UK economy. The last thing Britain needs is to lose London’s status as a financial capital of Europe. It would be very difficult for us if global companies and banks moved their headquarters out on the country as a result of us leaving the EU. London does need to rearrange its relationship with EU, updating many of old time treaties and conventions, but leaving EU would be a disaster.”


7. It could break apart companies with international teams

Co-founders of Hassle.com, Alex Depledge and Jules Coleman, said: “A British exit from the EU would end the principle of free movement of workers within Europe. Much of the tech industry’s growth is a result of talented developers from across Europe not only filling in Britain’s skills gap, but passing on knowledge to local developers and helping the industry thrive. This talent pool would be put at risk with EU employees now living in Britain becoming subject to new visa and legal requirements. For example, within our company, we have 13 nationalities working together, these are largely people who have relocated to London from all corners of Europe. Employers should therefore be asking themselves what would happen to those teams if the UK steps outside the EU.”


8. It would be a nightmare for businesses to manage

Philippe Gelis, CEO of peer-to-peer trading platform Kantox, said: “From a business perspective, it will be a complete nightmare to manage. Being part of Europe is advantageous on a business basis. For me there is no real logic behind the Brexit. The best situation is to go on the same way.”


Alfie Best, founder of Wyldecrest Parks

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Sasha Williamson 622 466

One to watch: Luminet, the London business growing 41% year-on-year