British adults think that businesses should be involved in the EU referendum debate – but that doesn’t mean they will trust them. When asked whether different types of business should take part in the EU referendum campaign, support was high for British businesses to participate by publicly backing one side or the other, especially SMEs. However, this does not necessarily mean the public trust what big businesses say on the issues.
The new survey finds three-quarters (75%) of the public say that small and medium-size British businesses should participate in the debate – more than say the same for other groups such as academics (68%), think tanks (54%) and newspapers (52%). The contributions of SMEs are more welcome than those of big businesses – but still nearly seven in ten (69%) of British adults are happy for big British businesses which trade internationally to make their opinion on Brexit known. However, while three-fifths (57%) say that they trust small business owners on issues relating to the referendum, leaders of large businesses fare worse, being trusted on the issues by just three in ten (29%).