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British businesses prioritise employment law re-negotiation

By James Barnes

18 April 2013 at 11:46 BST

More than half of British businesses want to stay in the EU but re-negotiate employment laws, with the majority adding that withdrawing from the union would be a mistake, a major survey has found.

The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) EU Business Barometer took the views of close to 4,400 businesses across the UK, gaining an insight into Britain's future relationship with the EU.

Employment law

HR Magazine reports that businesses prioritised employment law, with 54 per cent claiming it to be a key factor in EU participation. Health and safety law followed with 46 per cent while regional development policies were cited by 33 per cent of respondents.
The survey also found that 60 per cent of respondents named a ‘full withdrawal’ from the EU as having a highly negative impact on the British economy.

'Structural flaws'

John Longworth, director general of the BCC said that the results confirmed what many business leaders had suspected for some time. He added: ‘From a business perspective, any re-negotiation of Britain's relationship with the European Union must therefore focus on these areas which are not integral to the functioning of the Single Market in goods and services.’
Meanwhile, one chairman told the website that the UK’s ‘loss of its seat at the table’ would ‘obliterate our ability to help resolve the deep structural flaws in the EU’.


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