Business leaders want a treaty change with Brussels

Julian Harris
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MORE than half of British business leaders want to significantly change the UK’s relationship with the European Union, a survey revealed this morning.

A majority of 56 per cent of respondents say a treaty change is required and also say they “would like to see Britain’s relationship with Brussels changed to focus on trade”. Under a quarter, 23 per cent, disagreed with the statement.

Yet the survey of large, medium and small firms – conducted by YouGov for the campaign group Business for Britain – also showed that a satisfactory change in the terms of the relationship would boost support for staying in the EU.

Achieving a “meaningful change” would result in an average swing of 16 per cent towards remaining part of the political union, the YouGov survey says.

Prime Minister David Cameron has supported draft legislation promising a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.

Cameron has pledged to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the EU, including the claw-back of some key powers to Westminster.

Today’s survey also reveals that business leaders have identified nine key areas of competence – including employment law and environmental regulation – over which there is a preference for the UK government to regain control.

The poll surveyed 1,024 people.