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EU Referendum

It's Brexit: Pub trade calls time on EU

By Nikkie Sutton , 21-Jun-2016
Last updated on 22-Jun-2016 at 10:11 GMT2016-06-22T10:11:56Z

It's Brexit: Pub trade calls time on EU

Pub industry professionals are in favour of 'Brexit', according to an online poll by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

The poll, run on morningadvertiser.co.uk from 14 to 20 June, found that of the 360 respondents, 59% were in favour of leaving the European Union, with 41% wanting to remain.

The referendum, which is taking place today (23 June), is the biggest democratic decision in a generation and will decide whether the UK should remains in the EU or leaves.

Trade figures

Leading trade figures have voiced their opinions on both sides with remain supporters believing the hospitality sector would suffer due to the impact on staffing and a negative effect on food and drink prices. 

Those that are campaigning for a leave vote, such as Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin, argue that UK businesses would be better served by being free from EU bureaucracy. Martin has printed hundreds of thousands of Brexit-themed beer mats in a bid to convince customers. 

A separate survey of UK hospitality operators by data firm RPBI agreed with the findings of the PMA poll, with the majority saying they would vote to leave.

Business owners, decision makers and senior executives were asked if they thought it would be easier to recruit staff should the UK vote to leave. Half (51%) predicted there would be no impact, 34% said it would be harder to recruit, 7% stated it would be easier to recruit and 9% didn’t know.

Hospitality report

However, almost three quarters of industry chief executives surveyed for the British Hospitality Association's Leaders' Report said that they would be voting to stay in the EU, with 8% undecided. Only 18% said that they supported Brexit.

Companies involved in hospitality are more likely than others to draw on temporary staff and to use overseas workers, benefiting from the free movement of labour available to a Britain that is part of the EU.

"The lack of predictability of outcome is unnerving," one chief executive said. Another commented: "We cannot contemplate a world where Britain is isolated."

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