Leave or remain? IoD to get Yorkshire business talking about Europe

Businesses in Yorkshire will debate the UK’s membership of the European Union at a referendum roadshow on 10 May.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) will hold the debate at Old Broadcasting House, Leeds – just six weeks ahead of the crucial vote on 23 June.

Guests will hear arguments for and against Brexit from a panel that includes Leave campaigner Richard Doyle, the founder of Esteem Systems who set up Radish Investments, and Prof Chris Prince, Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Business & Law at Leeds Beckett University.

They will be joined by Allie Renison, head of EU and Trade Policy at the IoD, who is a regular contributor to national media on the referendum. The event will be chaired by Greg Wright, deputy business editor of the Yorkshire Post.

Natalie Sykes, regional director of the IoD in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Whatever their views on the UK’s membership of the EU, the IoD is urging businesses to consider the implications of the referendum. With only six in 10 IoD members having even discussed the issue at board or senior management level, the IoD says business leaders need more of an opportunity to listen to the case from both sides.”

Allie Renison said: “Business leaders will have heard plenty of claims from both campaigns on what is at stake in this referendum, but trying to work out what really matters may at times feel like wading through treacle.

“We want to make sure our members get to hear the substance of the issue, rather than just the sentiment, so they can be confident they understand the arguments before they vote.

“Even if a firm doesn’t directly trade with the European Union, it might employ EU citizens, or be part of supply chain that could be affected by the outcome of the referendum. Business leaders up and down the country are telling us that they need to hear more practical arguments about whether, and how, Brexit would really affect their company’s future.”

The debate gets underway at 5pm. It is part of a series of IoD roadshows across the UK during May and June. Referendum debates will also take place in Durham on 11 May and Hull on 11 June.

The IoD will share its latest survey results on the referendum on 11 May, at a Policy Voice event at Bibi’s in Leeds from 5pm-7pm.

The IoD is not campaigning for either side in the referendum.

The debate is open to IoD members and non-members. To book a place, email iod.yorkshire@iod.com.


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