Small businesses in Scotland 'do not feel well informed' on EU vote

FlagsImage source, AFP
Image caption,
The EU referendum will be held on 23 June

More than half of Scottish small businesses do not feel well informed about the EU referendum, according to a survey.

A majority (76%) had decided how to vote but 20% of these said they could change their mind.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) heard from 4,000 firms across the UK, with 520 of them in Scotland.

EU decision making and the free movement of people were pointed to as the "top concerns" for the businesses.

Other key factors in how people would vote included the economic impact on the UK, the administrative burden of regulations and the cost of EU membership.

The referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union will be held on Thursday 23 June.

Asked "how well informed do you feel about the forthcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union", 11% said they did not feel "at all informed" while 42% said "not very well informed".

More than half (56%) said they had always known or had reached a firm decision on how they will vote.

A further 20% said they had made a decision but could change their mind, while 23% were undecided.,

Andy Willox, the FSB's Scottish policy convenor, said: "This groundbreaking survey reveals the big questions for Scotland's smaller businesses ahead of June's EU vote.

"However, with every second business owner feeling uninformed about the key issues, both sides of this debate have their work cut out to close the information gap."

Mr Willox said the desire of Scotland's small businesses to know the practical impact of their vote was a "clear echo" of the independence referendum campaign.

The survey was conducted from 20-23 February, immediately after the prime minister's announcement of a date for the referendum.