Opinion

Charlie Mullins: Entrepreneurs like risk, but leaving the EU is a leap into the dark

4 min read

20 June 2016

Entrepreneurs are among the greatest risk takers of them all. It’s built into our DNA – that special something that enables us to turn a simple idea into a money-generating, employment-creating enterprise.

Image: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com” >Shutterstock

It might be thought, therefore, that business owners would be a shoe-in for a leave vote when it comes to putting an ‘X’ in the box at the upcoming EU referendum. That couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. Leaving the EU is a complete leap in the dark that we can’t subject our country, our economy and future generations of Brits to. 

Many business owners share the same view as do groups such as the CBI, which said the UK’s exit from the EU would cause a serious economic shock to the country back in March, and, more recently, the North of England-based Entrepreneurs’ Forum, which last week declared that it is supporting a Remain vote. 

At its recent conference, the organisation held a vote of business delegates, which revealed 72 per cent were in favour of remaining in the EU. This was up from 56 per cent in a poll it held in February. 

I’d suggest one of the reasons for this is because businesses just want to get on with things and the EU Referendum has forced them to hold their breath for an extended period. Decisions have been delayed, contracts deferred and investments paused.

This considered mind-set can only be countered by getting some certainty back into the economy. Business hates uncertainty and a Brexit would see business confidence levels drop off the scale to depths never seen before. And it’s the great unknowns that are so dangerous for the economy and from such unknowns come one great big elephant-sized decade of instability-inspired uncertainty.

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A football-squad sized collection of business and economic experts from the governor of the Bank of England, to the CEOs of most of the top 100 companies in the UK, have all warned of the danger of Brexit to the economy and how remaining is economic common sense. 

While the man and woman in the street may be more preoccupied with the immigration debate than the economic arguments of the referendum, the economy will be the first casualty of Brexit. And, as we all know from the effects and after-effects of the last recession, a weak economy impacts on every aspect of our country. We just can’t afford to let that happen again.

The International Monetary Fund, in a report at the end of last week, backed this up with warning stating a vote to leave the EU would seriously hurt the economy and possibly lead to a recession as soon as next year. 

That in itself should send a shiver down the backs of every business owner and their employees who worked their backsides off to get through the post-banking crisis recession. 

The threat from a Brexit is huge and imminent, which is why we must vote to stay in on 23 June.

On the eve of the vote, Richard Branson has launched EU remain campaign, despite not being able to vote.