UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 10 June 2016 07:45

The Forum has become exasperated by both sides of the EU debate and their inability to clarify what the future will look like after June 23rd so that firms can plan and invest for the future.

“All business owners are faced with a degree of uncertainty, but they manage by planning, they look at the potential future outcomes and plan their strategy accordingly to deal with the a range of possible future events, including worst and best case scenarios”, explained the Forum’s Managing Director Ian Cass.

The Forum sought a strategic plan from both sides at the start of the year.

Specifically the Forum would like to see:
• An acceptance that the decision is a complex and nuanced one, and a concentration on imparting useful information rather than political point scoring. No one knows what a successful exit or reform of the UK's position in the EU looks like.
• Clear communication of the various outcomes of remaining or exiting; the pro’s and con’s to help us make our decisions.
• A proper proactive plan from both sides that prioritises small business. Too much regulation is focussed on the practices of large corporations rather than the needs of over 99% of businesses.
• Clarification of where legislation comes from and why the UK government may choose to augment or gold plate such legislation, together with proposals to address our own over-complicated and burdensome tax system.
• A plan to make the UK more competitive whether we exit or remain. How are we going to improve our productivity and enabling business to focus on growing and developing?

Ian states, “Bearing in mind the seriousness of the decision for the UK business in general, the politicians on both sides of the argument have a duty to make sure that the UK business community is well-informed and educated as to the options and outcomes of their vote, to help them reach such an important decision. Only if the issues to be voted on are clear will we see a good turnout at the polls."

"So far, the politicians have failed to give balanced information aimed at providing business owners with the right information to make an informed decision. They have scared and confused people, overloading them with doom and gloom stories so that many people will either not vote or they will make decisions based on simple soundbites like immigration, the economy crashing or loss of sovereignty. The argument is much more nuanced than that and in the words of Martin Lewis 'has more shades of grey than the E.L. James bookshelf'. The UK’s business community deserve better from our politicians”

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.