Directors deliver EU verdict

Dated: 22 December 2011

  • Three quarters of IoD members support PM’s veto of EU Treaty; one fifth oppose
  • 63% of IoD members want looser relationship with EU; 29% want no change; 7% want more integration

A new survey of over 1,000 members of the Institute of Directors conducted after the recent EU summit has revealed strong support amongst business leaders for both the Prime Minister’s veto and for a looser relationship with the EU.

The key findings of the survey are:

  • 77% of IoD members agree with the Prime Minister’s use of the veto at the EU summit, including 46% strongly agreeing.  19% disagree, including 11% strongly disagreeing.
  • 63% of IoD members would like to see the UK in a looser relationship with the EU, including 42% who would like to see a repatriation of some powers, 21% who would like to see the UK withdrawing from the EU while retaining free trade, and 1% who would like to see the UK withdrawing altogether.  29% of IoD members would like to maintain existing levels of political and economic integration.  7% would like to see deeper integration, including 6% who would like to see stronger integration and 1% who would like to see a full political and economic union.
  • 85% think that the measures agreed at the EU summit will fail to solve the Eurozone crisis, compared with 3% who think that the measures will succeed.
  • 53% of IoD members say that the Eurozone crisis is not having an effect on their own business, whilst 42% say it is having a negative effect.
  • 77% think that David Cameron’s use of the veto has changed the UK’s relationship with the EU, compared with 18% who think that it hasn’t.  Of those who think there has been a change in the UK’s relationship with the EU, 53% think it will be negative for the UK and 33% think it will be positive for the UK, while 10% think it will be neither negative nor positive.  It would appear that IoD members are concerned about the consequences of the summit, but still support the Prime Minister’s decision in the light of a wider assessment of our EU relationship.

Graeme Leach, Director of Policy at the IoD, said:

“The UK’s relationship with Europe is dominated by political and economic uncertainty but the business verdict is very clear. Almost two-thirds of IoD members want to see a looser relationship with the EU. There are also significant groups of directors on the other side of the argument, with 29 per cent supporting the status quo and 7 per cent wanting to see more integration.  The ongoing Euro crisis is changing attitudes towards the EU and we simply don’t know what 2012 will bring”.


The IoD carried out a Policy Voice survey of 1,068 IoD members between 16 and 21 December 2011.  Results have been rounded to the nearest 1% – totals may not sum exactly due to rounding.


Contact Points

Edwin Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 3392
Mob: +44 (0)7814 386 243

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 38,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
  • The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.
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