LONDON – British manufacturers insist their nation must remain part of the European Union, according to a survey published today and ahead of a referendum on Britain's EU membership.
British manufacturing lobby group EEF said 85% of its members that expressed a view said they would vote for Britain to remain in the EU.
"The U.K. must remain part of the European Union with 'no ifs or buts', Britain's manufacturers have told the Prime Minister [David Cameron' and party leaders in a major report and survey published today," the EEF said.
Cameron, whose Conservative party heads a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, has pledged to win back some powers from Brussels and then put the new terms of Britain's EU membership to the public in an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.
Cameron is seeking a majority in the 2015 general election but faces pressure on the right from the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party.
EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler meanwhile said that membership of the EU was key to British manufacturers' business growth and investment plans.
"Britain must not gamble on its future in Europe," he said. "The stakes are enormous. "It is naive to think we can simply pull up the drawbridge and carry on as normal. The debate must move on to how we can make Europe work to support jobs, growth and higher living standards. We need to focus on the real prize: how we can get Europe to work better supporting companies that are looking to sell into the EU, to export to new markets in the rest of the world and develop new products and services."
An EEF spokesman told AFP that about 400 of its members from a total of more than 6,000 responded to the survey, which was carried out in June and July of this year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013