Personal circumstances should be the guiding factor for businesses in deciding whether to vote to leave or remain part of the European Union, a leading figure believes.
Financial guru and Secret Millionaire Gill Fielding delivered a witty, light-hearted speech on the major issues ahead of the June 23 referendum to Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce members last Wednesday.
Speaking at its annual general meeting, the chamber patron said arguments were ‘finely balanced’, with the public barraged by arguments, counter claims and ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’.
She said: “You have got to make a decision on something that affects us nationally and globally but we have to make the choice based on personal information.
“Everyone will have to look at this from a personal perspective.”
Mrs Fielding suggested those trading directly with Europe may find it advantageous to vote to remain.
But she said she understood EU red tape was difficult and time-consuming for many businesses.
She speculated net migration would not alter substantially either way, while highlighting research from the Confederation of British Industry that 66 per cent of employers believed there was a lack of suitably-qualified people in the UK, particularly in STEM subjects.
Worldwide confidence in the pound came under scrutiny, with the currency hitting a seven-year low when the referendum date was announced.
Mrs Fielding said: “I think this is an indication that the world at large thinks we would be better staying in.”
US president Barack Obama came in for criticism, as she argued his remarks on the debate were ‘possibly the most misguided’ thing he had said.
The chamber is hosting an EU debate on Friday, May 20, at Worthing Golf Club.
Visit www.worthingandadurchamber.co.uk for more details.
The AGM, at Worthing Dome, was attended by dozens of members, who elected the executive committee for the coming year.
President Peter Bennett pointed to numerous successes in 2015, including opening of the Sphere business centre and taking on apprentice Amelia Thompson.