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BVEP Brexit poll predicts fewer events and less red tape

Up to 60 per cent of BVEP partners say Britain would attract fewer events if it leaves the EU; 10 per cent say event numbers would rise

Pictured: Michael Hirst OBE, chair of BVEP, who ran the poll

Up to 60 per cent of event planners believe fewer events would come to the UK if the country voted to leave the EU in next month's membership referendum, a poll has found.

Asked by the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) how the industry would be affected following a potential exit, members said fewer events would result while only 10 per cent said the number would increase.

Half of respondents also said investment it would decrease, 13 per cent expected it to increase while 37 per cent forecasted it to stay the same.

On staff recruitment, the majority (56 per cent) said the ability to recruit would remain the same after leaving the EU, while 39 per cent said it would be harder and 5 per cent saying it would be easier.

Despite the EU being widely criticised for hindering UK businesses with bureaucracy and red tape, the majority (56 per cent) felt this would stay the same or increase with a Brexit, while 44 per cent said it would lead to less regulation.

Michael Hirst OBE, chair of the BVEP, said: "This is a timely piece of research that highlights some of the key considerations and demonstrates how many opinions there are in this important debate. On the one side there are concerns about some of the circumstances which will arise from a Brexit but there are others who feel there will be positive opportunities too.

"The EU referendum is now just weeks away, no matter what the UK decides, the BVEP will continue to raise sector awareness and work with its stakeholders to support its future growth."

When asked for additional issues or positive comments, one of the largest concerns for a post-Brexit economy was increased regulation on events held in Europe. Other issues BVEP members cited included the potential loss of work to European contractors and destinations; additional transport and other operational costs and the possible perception of Britain as an 'outsider' destination for European events. 

Positive factors included the possible weakening of the pound, making Britain more competitive while others cited the potential for greater flexibility and ability to win more global events and trade outside Europe.

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