Chief execs fear Brexit more than Grexit as election draws close

Leaving the EU is threat to stability say business leaders

The prospect of the so-called Brexit has become a serious concern for business leaders, according to a pan-European survey by Grant Thornton.

The question hanging over Britain’s EU membership is even more troublesome than the threat of Greece’s departure from the EU and the country’s planned repayment of €1bn to the IMF in May.

As Britain’s EU membership becomes a key battle ground in the build-up to the election with the Tories promising a 2017 referendum if they win office, businesses are worried that political uncertainty could have a detrimental impact on the European economy.

According to the survey of 2,600 chief executives, managing directors and chairmen of companies across Europe, 64% believe a British exit from the Eurozone would have a negative impact on Europe.

Meanwhile, in the UK, concern is higher still – 72% of firms think a British exit would have a negative impact on the EU.

Grant Thornton CEO elect Sasha Romanovitch said: “This aversion to a Brexit arguably gives the next British government a strong hand when it comes to seeking reform in Europe – and may test President Juncker’s reported refusal to consider any major EU treaty changes. One thing’s for sure; businesses and policymakers across the continent will be watching very closely to see how the dust settles on 8 May.”

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