A snap poll of financial advisers has found the majority want to stay in the European Union, but only 23 votes separated the ‘stay’ and ‘leave’ camps.
Of the 1,327 advisers who responded to the question put by the Personal Finance Society, ‘Considering the best interests of financial services and your clients, do you think Britain will be better off staying in the EU, or leaving?’ 675, or just over 50 per cent, said the country should stay, with 652 wanting a Brexit.
The professional body put the question to its 36,400 members following an announcement by the government that the 23 June will be the date for Britain’s referendum on EU membership.
Commenting on the poll results, Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “You can’t get much closer than that.
“On balance, our members think we will be better off staying within the existing EU framework, rather than going it alone.
“It remains to be seen if there will be any significant legislative changes should we ultimately exit from the EU. It is a bridge we will cross should we come to this scenario.”
Adviser John Crisford, director of Sherwood Healthcare, said: “It is very interesting.
“It would have been interesting to find out the age of those who voted, only because older people may be a bit more blasé and think, ‘Let’s get out.’
“The younger people whose world it is may be a bit more cautious. So I think age is a factor.
“At my age I would like to exit but younger people may have a totally different view because they are going to be involved in the business longer than me and see the benefits of staying. From my perspective, leaving doesn’t frighten me.”
Mr Crisford said he supported trade deals between the UK and the EU, but said he would like to see less European involvement in UK legislation.