The Prime Minister has embarked on his effort to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the European Union ahead of an in-out referendum, What aspects of the current relationship most need reform, from the point of view of engineering and manufacturing?
We received an interesting spread of responses to our poll last week. Of the 357 respondents, the largest group, 40 per cent, voted for none of the options we had suggested. Insight into why this should be is sketchy, as not many of these respondents left comments, but of those that did, factors like stronger enforcement of existing EU regulation and energy costs were mentioned: there also seemed to be a significant number of reespondents who favoured outright withdrawal from the EU over any renegotiation. Of the remaining respondents, 31 per cent saod that free movement of people between EU states as their main concern; again judging from comments, a large part of this concern was related to availability of qualified immigrants to work in UK businesses, although a couple of comments mention access to benefits. Matters related to carbon emissions was the choice of 17 per cent, while 6 per cent picked other environmental regulations. Chemical usage regulations were the concern of 4 per cent, and just 2 per cent picked waste control regulations.
Please continue to tell us your opinions on this subject, especially if you voted for none of the above for a reason not given here.