‘Don’t knows’ hold key to Brexit/Bremain vote among independent retailers

More than a quarter of retailers haven’t yet made up their minds whether to vote to Brexit or to Bremain, according to a new survey among the 6,000 members of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira).

The referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union is on Thursday June 23. In the survey, bira members were asked the question: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ They were also asked a third option (‘Don’t know’) that will not be on the voting card.

More members voted to remain than to leave, but not by a decisive margin. Nearly three in ten haven’t made their minds up.

Bira members will have a second chance to express their opinions at the association’s High Street Conference on May 11, when speakers from both campaigns, including MP Chuka Umunna, will make the cases for and against. Members will then vote and the count will be announced at the close of the event. Details of the conference can be found at www.bira.co.uk/bira-high-street-conference-2016

Bira ceo Alan Hawkins commented: “Our survey shows that it’s all to play for. A momentous decision will be made on in the June referendum and our survey shows that many still have yet to make up their minds. It will be fascinating to see how many more have come to a decision by the time of our conference debate and poll.”

The results came from this question posed in the bira quarterly sales monitor: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ The responses were: ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ – 38.62%, ‘Leave the European Union’ – 32.93%, ‘Don’t know’ – 28.46%.

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