EU what?

03 May, 16

Where do you stand on Brexit? Editor Philippa Turrell asks the question

At the recent Bathroom Manufacturer’s Association marketing meeting, the question hot on everyone’s lips was the EU referendum and will we be in or out? What will the implications be on the bathroom (and for that matter kitchen) business? And what is the common view of those who work in the kitchen and bathroom industries? I’m no economist, just ask my bank manager. The UK has been in the EU for as long as I can remember – possibly even been alive – and it is unprecedented as it could be the first time any country has left the Union. So for me, and quite possibly for many others, it means a vast amount of online research before June 23.

Interestingly, however, the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) has already conducted its own Brexit poll to find out the views of its members. Of its 4,203 surveyed, covering installers, retailers and manufacturers, the majority (65%) voted for the UK to pull out of the EU. And of those 65% who voted out, over half stated the reason was motivated by immigration and the implications migration from Europe (and beyond) has on the UK.

The results perhaps aren’t surprising as installation trades have, for a long time, been challenged by an influx of cheaper labour from overseas. And it should be pointed out, although this was a national survey, the majority of iKBBI members are in the South East, including Kent. And it is this county which has been the epicentre for many tabloid headlines surrounding illegal immigration stories.

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What is, arguably, of greater significance is that 93% of members canvassed said they would be voting.It’s a staggering majority considering only 66.1% of voters turned out to vote for the General Election in 2015, with the highest number recorded (since 1945) in 1950 at 83.9%. It surely demonstrates the strength of feeling about the debate, whatever side of the fence you fall.

But if you’re prepared to nail your colours to the mast, then please email me, telling us why you are pro or anti-Europe Union. Perhaps it will help the 87% of iKKBI members who felt they are not in a position to make an informed choice, as well as yours truly!