A survey of logistics industry professionals has shown the majority favour remaining in the EU as the best outcome for the businesses they work for. However, when asked their personal views, a small majority, 47%, support Brexit, while 45% favour remaining.
The IMHX Business Survey reflects other surveys conducted within the industry which have suggested the majority favour remaining in the EU. Rob Fisher Event Director of IMHX, the UK's leading logistics showcase, said: "What we seem to have here is a classic split between head versus heart. While the head says remain is best for business, the heart, when asked to express a personal opinion, says leave."
Key issues in the referendum across all respondents were immigration and border control (60%); stability/protection of the UK economy (46%) and ability to trade across the EU (37%).
Those who specifically favour Brexit are more likely to see immigration and border control as a key issue and are less concerned around the economy, while those who favour remain feel the UK economy and the ability to trade are the key issues.
When it comes to the possible impact of leaving the EU, the largest proportion, 39%, feel there would be no impact on UK business growth. However, when it comes to impact on the logistics industry itself, 38% believe leaving could have a negative impact, with around a third feeling there wouldn't be any impact, and under 20% think leaving would have a positive effect.
Concerning red tape/bureaucracy, there are a range of views, with 38% believing there could be an increase, possibly reflecting perceived complexities around new overseas trading arrangements outside the EU, with 35% believing there would be a reduction, and just 22% feeling there would be no impact at all.
Just over have, 53%, of respondents think there would be no change in health and safety regulations in the event of Brexit, with 33% thinking there would be a decrease and just 9% thinking there could be more regulations.
Regarding the employment of migrant workers, 38% of respondents said their organisations currently employ migrant workers. Of this group, 40% said they are concerned that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be more difficult to recruit workers – however 39% feel there would be no impact.
Rob Fisher adds: "As with the UK population as a whole, on a number of the issues there is either a near 50/50 split, or a third/third/third split, with one of the thirds being 'don't know or no opinion'.
"The debate remains wide open, with everything to play for on 23 June – and a close result seems the only certainty," concludes Fisher.