Press Releases Scotland & the EU

New Poll: 82% of SMEs want UK to remain in the EU

Written by Rhona Middler

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 12.10.47A snap poll carried out by Business for Scotland, generating 527 responses from our members between Friday 9th and Tuesday 13th October 2015, has found 82% support from Scottish SME’s for the UK to remain in the EU.

Only 9% of respondents wanted to leave the EU. This is our third poll on EU membership in three years and all have shown overwhelming support for maintain EU membership.

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54% of the business people surveyed said that they still needed more information, specifically on EU grant contributions to Scotland and what the impact of an exit would be on specific industries.


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Only 4% thought that their business would be better off outside the EU.

60% believed business would be worse off were the UK to vote to leave.



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When asked what type of impact respondents believed an EU exit would have on Scotland’s access to global trading markets and inward investment, 37% said this would have an adverse impact, 46% said they thought this would have a significantly adverse impact, while only 6% thought the impact would be positive or significantly positive.


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84% either strongly agreed or agreed that if Scotland became independent at some point in the future, it should remain a member of the EU.

While only 9% of respondents strongly disagreed or disagreed with this statement.



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The EU’s handling of the recent Greek financial crisis and refugee crisis had made 13% more likely to vote to leave the EU.

52% of respondents said that this had made no change to their vote.

In additional comments respondents expressed concern that the Scottish Government would not be represented in the pre EU referendum negotiations promised by David Cameron and that any concessions made, without any Scottish input may not be best for Scotland. Such an error could lower Scottish support for maintaining EU membership.

Few polled would disagree that the EU is in need of reform but our respondents felt in this case reform is best achieved from the inside, and with Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and English needs given due consideration.



  • This online poll was conducted between the 9th and 14th October 2015.
  • The poll was distributed to members of Business for Scotland who are business owners/ directors of SME business organisations.
  • All figures are quoted excluding don’t knows


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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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