UK manufacturers 'want to stay in EU', poll finds

Modern boiler room equipment Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Both UK and EU manufacturers have been suffering in recent months.

Britain's manufacturers are overwhelmingly in favour of the country remaining a part of the European Union, a survey suggests.

The manufacturers' organisation EEF found that 85% of those it polled would vote to stay in the EU, and only 7% would opt to leave, despite the bloc's economic troubles.

Firms with more than 250 employees were most keen on the EU, with 90% saying they would want to retain membership.

EEF represents over 6,000 companies.

The survey, carried out in August, included 160 companies.

Manufacturing companies in both the UK and the wider EU have been suffering in recent months.

Two surveys carried out in August showed that growth in the UK manufacturing sector has slowed, with both new orders and output increasing less rapidly than before.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) edged down in August to 52.5 from 54.8 in July, its lowest reading for 14 months.

'Makes no sense'

Meanwhile, manufacturing across the eurozone fell in September to a PMI reading of 50.5, the lowest measure since July of last year.

Commenting on the EEF poll's findings, chief executive Terry Scuoler, said: "Despite the continued problems in the eurozone, manufacturers remain overwhelmingly of the view that our economic wellbeing is inextricably linked to the EU and, we must stay in membership.

"It makes no sense to disengage from our major market and it remains fanciful to think we can just pull up the drawbridge and walk away with no consequences."

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