Retail members of the Company of Master Jewellers are split on how they will vote in next month’s EU referendum, while the majority of approved suppliers will be voting to stay in.
This week the CMJ surveyed all UK-based retail members and approved suppliers to ask how they planned to vote in the referendum, which will be held on June 23, and what they thought the result would be.
CMJ members who voted were split almost 50/50 in their opinion: while 38% plan to vote to leave the EU, 43% will vote to remain in the EU, and 19% are yet to decide how they will vote.
However, despite the close result, 83% of members believe that the outcome of the referendum will be that the UK will remain in the EU.
Meanwhile, CMJ suppliers who responded plan to vote much more favourably for the UK to remain in the EU, with 64% planning to vote to remain and 93% of those suppliers who responded predicting that the outcome of the referendum will be to stay in the EU. 21% of CMJ suppliers plan to vote to leave the EU, while 15% are still undecided.
Chief executive of the CMJ Willie Hamilton said of the results: “These figures are really interesting as it shows that CMJ retailers are much more likely than suppliers to support Brexit, and taken on their own the results suggest that the vote could be incredibly close. Despite the fact that both members and suppliers predict that the result will be for the UK to remain in the EU, our members survey goes to show that those who are still undecided on how they will vote could really make a difference to the outcome.
“While independent retailers may be more inclined to support the leave campaign, I would encourage all our members and suppliers to have business plans in place in the event of the UK voting to leave. This has been a topic that has been raised at many of our recent Regional Meetings across the UK and we can offer support and guidance for any CMJ members or suppliers who are concerned about how their businesses may be affected.”