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Business journalists call for business leaders to speak out on the EU

Three quarters (76%) of business journalists think that the British economy will lose out over the next two years if Britain leaves the EU and call on business leaders to stop hiding behind their industry bodies and begin to speak out on issues that matter to the EU debate.

Populus spoke to 40 of the most senior business journalists from national print and broadcast media. These journalists conclude that Britain will vote to stay in the EU. They believe that the benefits of leaving the EU are outweighed by the negative economic impact that leaving would have on both the economy and businesses. In particular, they highlight the risks of a Brexit to SMEs involved in exporting to the EU.

Business journos 1

Journalists think that business leaders should be prepared to speak out about the implications of an exit from the EU. They warn that the pressure on business leaders to intervene in the debate will intensify as the referendum grows closer. One lesson from the Scottish independence referendum was that companies that came out in favour or against early and with a detailed explanation of the impact on their business encountered much less criticism than those who entered the debate late and lacked a clear detailed explanation of their position.

Journalists say business leaders in the banking, manufacturing and retail sector have the most to contribute to the referendum debate. Journalists and voters are keen to hear facts from business leaders about the impact of a Brexit on jobs, trading relations, and headquartering in the UK. In speaking out, businesses can be seen to be defending their own interests, but also those of their employees and the country.

Business journos 2

David Racadio

David is responsible for Populus's industry studies, which help clients in a range of sectors, including banking, insurance, food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and retail, to benchmark their corporate reputations and understand the attitudes of key stakeholders that impact on their industry.

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