Every time a new poll comes out on how Britons intend to vote in the referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the European Union — a Brexit — the results always vary wildly.
However, when you look at the range of polls that just survey businesses, it seems a lot more clear cut that Britain’s biggest businesses are more in tune with voting against leaving the 28 nation bloc.
Or so we thought.
According to a YouGov survey published in the Financial Times, 49% of the 618 decision making business executives surveyed said they were in favour of remaining in the EU, compared with 40% that are pipping for a Brexit.
This may seem inline with the general population vote — a small gap between with the “Leave” and “Remain” vote — but it’s actually a pretty big deal in debunking the consensus that businesses were overwhelmingly for Britain to stay part of the EU.
For example, at the beginning of April, Deloitte published its 35th quarterly survey of 120 Chief Financial Officers and Group Finance Directors of major companies in the UK and it showed that 75% of the 120 CFOs surveyed are in favour the UK remaining in the EU — up from 62% in the previous quarter.
The 2016 Q1 survey took place between March 8 and March 21.
The same week, the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe’s poll of 8,000 large and small businesses, operating mainly outside of the UK across Europe showed that 89.3% of its members “considered that, on balance, it would be in the best interests of the UK to stay in the EU.”