After UK Prime Minister David Cameron secured an EU reform deal in Brussels late on Friday night, a slew of business leaders said they will vote to remain in Europe.
Six out of ten business leaders surveyed by the Institute of Directors (IoD) back the Prime Minister’s EU reform package and will vote for the UK to remain in a political union with the continent. However 31% of the 672 IoD members surveyed want to leave the EU while 9% admitted they were undecided.
Overall, only 7% of the IoD’s respondents view the EU reform deal as "very good" while 27% agreed it is "good". Yet more than half (54%) said it makes no difference.
The crux of David Cameron’s reform deal means Britain is exempt from an ever-closer union with the EU.
"The Prime Minister has fought hard for this deal and has secured positive changes, in particular on reducing the burden of pointless or excessive red tape," IoD director general Simon Walker said.
"Businesses will weigh up the reforms when considering the pros and cons of EU membership as they decide how to vote at the referendum," Walker explained.
Four key issues have been addressed by the Prime Minister in the EU deal: sovereignty, the Eurozone, migration and welfare, and competition.
National state: Sovereignty can be protected by a red card system, allowing members states to block treaty proposals if 55% of their national parliament also agrees.
Are EU just in this for the money? Britain will not have to adopt the Euro, fund any future bailouts of Eurozone countries and provisions to preserve leeway in market regulation for the City of London.
Increase competition by cutting red tape: Proposals to cut the infamous red tape surrounding key European wide industries and sectors, reduce over-regulation and further the single market.
Social issues: Migrant’s access to in-work benefits and child benefits has also changed. All members’ states will – in theory – be able to apply a "four year emergency break" if they can prove an exceptionally high volume of migrant workers have come over an extended period of time.
The EU can authorise restriction of in-work benefits for up to four years. For EU migrants that want to send child benefit abroad, the amount paid by the UK will match the cost of living in the country where the child resides.