The election delivered a record result for anti-EU party UKIP, which topped the poll with 27per cent of votes and 24 seats.
The party is known for failing to turn up and vote, with recent reports labelling UKIP MEPs “the laziest in Europe”, but business groups have warned that all of Britain’s MEPs need to put the interests of British businesses first.
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Much is at stake for British business during the next European mandate. For that reason, we expect all of Britain’s MEPs to play a full and active role in the EU policy process – promoting and defending our country’s economic interests at every opportunity.
“Building coalitions to promote free trade agreements, protect our labour market flexibility, avoid unnecessary regulation, and defend the interests of non-Eurozone countries like the UK will be absolutely vital.”
John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We will be looking to the new intake of MEPs to work to boost growth and competitiveness in the UK and across the EU.
“By ‘Thinking Small First’ in the European Parliament and championing small firms in their constituencies, our representatives can help make the UK and Europe as a whole the best place to start up a business, take on staff and explore new markets.”
Survey results published by the BCC showed that 56 per cent of businesses favour Britain’s EU membership, with just 16 per cent backing withdrawal. However 48 per cent said that a closer political union with Europe could be cause for Britain to exit.
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