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Who's IN and who's OUT in local business community?

BRIAN Stahelin, founder and managing director of Chapel Hill-based recruitment firm Stafflex, said: "Being old enough to have understood the original concept of the Common Market and the benefits of membership, it is not easy to know what the now, so-called, EU does or how it benefits me or my business. An upside appears to be freedom of movement of trade and people, enhancing opportunity for businesses, competition and supply of labour. A downside seems to be precedence of EU over UK legislation. What is necessary to improve life/standards in other countries is not necessarily appropriate for the UK."

But he said: "We are so embroiled in the EU that it would almost certainly be generationally disruptive to leave and cause difficulties with other parts of the world. It is hard to see how legislation, particularly relating to employment, can be unravelled.

"The EU should reform itself to be leaner, more effective and, above all, listen and act upon the varied needs of different countries STEVE Bradley, partner at Lockwood-based marketing, HR and health and safety consultancy Pennine Business Partners, said the UK should "embrace the fact that we are in Europe and make the most of it."

He said: "A strong economy needs healthy businesses to produce goods and services, create employment and wealth. In my opinion the political arguments about how that is achieved are secondary to the in/out debate. Business and the economy tend to perform better in periods of stability. I don't think it's a coincidence that the recovery has stalled in a period that has seen the Scottish referendum, a general election and now the European referendum.

"A vote to leave the EU would lead to an extended period of economic and political uncertainty which would not be good for business and therefore not good for the economy. Negotiating our exit could be compared to a complex and messy divorce. My fear is that like many divorces, the process is painful and damaging to all parties and the lawyers are the only ones to prosper."

GRANT Russell, chief executive of Meltham and Mirfield-based contract fabrics firm Camira, said: "We export over 50% of our UK manufactured products mainly to EU countries as well as to North America and Asia Pacific, so the potential outcome of the UK vote on EU membership is subject to much internal discussion and analysis. The effect on exchange rates, trading barriers and tariffs and the employment of non-UK nationals could all have a significant impact on the competitiveness of our products and relationships with our overseas clients. However, the impact is actually very difficult to quantify with either outcome offering the potential for both negatives and positives. Most commentators do seem unanimous that should the exit vote prevail, there will be a two to three-year period for the UK government to both extract the UK from the EU and re-negotiate the trading relationship. For sure this period will result in ongoing uncertainty on the eventual outcome and that will likely result in a negative period in our trading relationships with overseas clients for a prolonged period. This fact alone would present an unwelcome and destabilising period."

BRENT Woods, chief executive of the Media Centre in Huddersfield, said; "In the modern world and going forward, collaboration is important at every level for businesses small or large to grow - and it's the same for countries. Decades of great work have gone into building up collaborations in Europe and I don't think we should walk away from it."

industries had driven innovation, helping create new companies and jobs - not least by funding the Media Centre itself. "The Media Centre would not have grown to the level it is now - home to 195 businesses and growing - without intervention from Europe," he said. "The multiplier effect is hard to measure, but that initial investment has been paid back umpteen times through job creation and growth in the economy."

He said the collaboration and EU support for the creative independence referendum. Mr Sutherland said it could even lead to the collapse of the EU itself, adding: "If that happens, there's no real power to stop Vladimir Putin."

STEVE Sutherland, chairman of Dortech Architectural Systems at Old Fieldhouse Lane, Deighton, admitted deciding how to vote was "a bit of a dilemma," but said his natural instinct was to vote to remain "because my biggest concern going forward is world peace."

He said Britain had a stronger voice as part of the EU and added: "I don't have a problem over immigration. I quite like the diversity of our country and I quite like being a European."

He said a vote to leave risked a break-up of the UK with a largely pro-EU Scotland holding another BATLEY-BORN Lawrence Tomlinson, chairman of LNT Group with interests in care homes, software and Ginetta racing cars, said business was being held back by Brussels and that as a nation the UK could function more efficiently outside the EU. He cited state aid rules as one example of how EU legislation constrained businesses from growing into export markets such as USA, China and India. By leaving the EU, Britain could focus on global markets which offered greater opportunity.

Mr Tomlinson, who studied engineering at Huddersfield Technical College and worked at Holset before embarking on his own business ventures, said freedom of movement meant Britain was prioritising unskilled, cheap labour from the continent over skilled migrants from other parts of the world. While the original concept of the Common Market was good but that a one-size fits all approach no longer worked.

By Henryk Zientek Business Reporter Sir Stuart Rose and businesswoman Karren Brady are among prominent business people backing Remain while inventor James Dyson, Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin and former British Chamber of Commerce director-general John Longworth are among those for Brexit.

THE views of business bosses could prove crucial to the outcome of the EU referendum. A poll by the Federation of Small Businesses suggests that 42% of small business owners are yet to decide how to vote on Thursday - with 52% saying they didn't feel they had the information they needed to make a judgement.

in the EU while manufacturing body the EEF is also strongly in favour of Remain.

And a survey by the Institute of Directors found its members backed Remain by more than two to one.

The Examiner asked business people from a range of sectors if they are supporting Remain or Leave - and why.

The Confederation of British Industry polled its members and found 80% support staying Kirkheaton-born Richard Reed, of Innocent Smoothies, former Marks & Spencer chief are we going to leave our children, grandchildren and even their children. We are the fifth largest economy, we have more creativity and enterprise in this country than almost anywhere else in the world.

KEN Davy, chairman of Huddersfield Giants and chairman and founder of financial services adviser support group SimplyBiz, said: "I am definitely for 'out'. The EU is a busted flush; its share of world trade is reducing; its financial infrastructure is in a dreadful state and in essence remaining in the EU would mean the UK would be stuck in the slow lane of history.

"It's easy to say 'let's stay as we are'. It takes far more courage and vision to say 'we need to leave'. I voted in the 1975 referendum and we were sold a pup. The greatest uncertainty and risk is to stay in the EU because we cannot trust the bureaucrats and politicians."

"For me, it isn't about the price of candy floss or whether we have a plague of locusts, it's about what kind of nation CHARLES Brook, of Huddersfieldbased Brook Business Recovery, said: "What has the EU ever done for us? The Leave side are saying, yes the EU has done some things - but that's history now and some of what they have done we could have done for ourselves.

"This project was only ever meant to be about free movement for the purpose of trade. Now we are progressing towards a federal Europe whether we like it or not. We'll increasingly have less say over what we can do.

"We should take control of things for ourselves and have control over our own destiny. It's not about immigration, it's about self-determination. Unless we want to become an Isle of Man-type satellite, we need to be out of Europe to preserve something of our identity and what makes us a little bit different to the rest of Europe."

He said voting to remain was the short-termist view while all the ambition for Britain was with the Leave side. "Leaving will create challenges," he said. "But we will get round them because that's what we do."

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 21, 2016
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