On the eve of the 'Nick v. Nigel' debate on LBC Radio and their discussion of the UK economy and Europe as part of this debate, TheCityUK comments on the importance of EU membership – not just to the UK economy but to younger voters in particular.
According to the latest forecast from TheCityUK, the UK's trade surplus in financial services now stands at a record £61bn, up 10% on 2012 and contributing strongly to the UK recovery, jobs and growth. Over £20bn of this trade is with other European member states making the EU the UK's largest single trading partner.
The forecast also reveals the UK attracts more foreign investment than any other EU member state and financial services attracts more than any other sector. Close to a half of total foreign direct investment into the UK comes from the EU.
In addition, recent public opinion research into the views of the UK electorate on Europe shows that the public's decision on staying or leaving the EU will be most swayed by economic factors: especially what will create most jobs.
Generally, a fifth of those polled think that there will be fewer jobs for young people if the UK exits the EU. However, it is young people – those aged 18 – 34 – that are the most keen to stay in Europe, citing their key reasons as economic factors; particularly job creation.
Young people are not the only ones focused on job creation and the importance of EU membership. TheCityUK's EU research shows that business leaders are fully committed to staying in and working to reform Europe. 84% of business leaders want the UK to remain in and reform the EU and a full 95% report that access to the Single European Market is important for the UK's competitiveness.
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of TheCityUK said:
"The latest trade figures plainly show that membership of the EU is good for the UK's growing recovery. Two key constituents – business leaders and young people – want to make sure economic growth continues and high value jobs are created in the UK and across Europe. Whilst business has done its sums and knows that we need to stay in to grow our economy, young people are just as concerned about their economic future. Leaving the EU would create a risk that's bad for the economy and deeply worrying for those with the greatest share in the economy's long term success: today's young people."