The Institute of Directors (IoD) surveyed 816 of its members following the publication of the draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and found that three-quarters back the deal. Anna Tobin reports
Three-quarters of IoD members surveyed said that it is important that a withdrawal agreement is ratified before the UK leaves the EU, and that there is a transition period. Two-thirds of those surveyed feel that a no-deal scenario would be bad for their business, 13%, however, said that a no-deal Brexit would be positive for their organisation.
When asked whether a second referendum would be in their interests, members were split with 46% for and 44% against.
“The message from our members is clear, they urgently want to see the UK get a withdrawal deal across the line,” says Stephen Martin, director general of the IoD. “Up and down the country, firms large and small are deeply concerned by the potential for a no-deal scenario, and business investment is already being choked off by the surrounding uncertainty.
“The need to avoid no deal must be at the forefront of MPs’ minds when they come to vote on the agreement. The deal we have might not satisfy everyone, but this is still the clearest route to securing a smooth exit. It is a necessary step towards moving on to the future relationship negotiations, which cannot begin in detail until we have legally left the EU.
“A second referendum is not an easy way out of the political bind we are in, with business opinion split on whether it would be a good idea now. The view of our members is that a withdrawal deal has to be the priority.”