The majority of UK hospitality managers will vote to stay in the EU, according to a survey by the Institute of Hospitality, but it is a fairly slim majority
Just over half of respondents (52.4%) said they would vote to stay in the EU, while more than a third (36.3%) said they would vote to leave, and 11.3% remained undecided.
In a follow-up question, UK hospitality managers were invited to make comments in confidence. Here is a selection of those comments:
|Why do you want to stay in the EU?||Why do you want to leave the EU?|
|“Our industry has some great people and excellent owners and managers. It also has more than its fair share of exploitation by unscrupulous operators, who do not hesitate to abuse staff to make a few quid more profit. Leaving the EU would enable the ‘red tape’ so often complained about to be reduced or dismissed – the ‘red tape’ that protects workers’ rights, working hours, minimum wages, health and safety, equality and so much more.”||“I appreciate recruitment will be far more difficult but believe the EU will require ever closer union in many serious competencies and that eventually the EU will fall apart. We will be better off if we can determine our own path.”|
|“When I list the major supporters of Brexit all I see are tax evading, super-rich parasites who are domiciled outside of the EU.”|
|“Not being able to see a GP when required, having to wait a long time for hospital treatment, not enough spaces at our local schools for my grandchildren, lack of housing. Our infrastructure cannot cope with the amount of migrants arriving and no local MPs or councillors will admit it or do anything to address it.”|
|“Europe will become more hostile to the UK if we leave. We cannot afford to risk a return to conflict within Europe. Our ability to control our borders will be weakened if we leave Europe as the higher costs will be unaffordable.”|
|“The EU has moved too far away from being a trading block. It was set up to be a trading block of nations, not a political body.”|
|“There is much I don’t like about being in the EU, but I think the UK is too small to go it alone.”|
|“The EU is too big. If it were still seven countries I might change my mind.”|
|“Isolationism and tilting towards nationalism has never done any nation any good. Nations are stronger and better when deeply connected. However, some terms of a united Europe should be renegotiated.”|
|“Negativity, scaremongering political tactics and vague assumptions backed up by pure conjecture are influencing my opinion to leave the EU, whereas I was once in favour of staying.”|
|“Hospitality is truly an industry that needs welcoming and open borders.”|
|“We were conned in the original referendum as to what we were joining.”|
A little more than half (50.6%) of respondents thought that the UK hospitality industry would suffer outside the EU, while nearly one third (32.7%) thought that it would thrive. 16.7% of respondents were not sure either way.
The majority of respondents (53.8%) thought that employment was the key issue for the UK hospitality industry when voting in the EU referendum.
The next most important issue was tourism/customer demand (29.4%), while smaller numbers of respondents considered sovereignty (7.6%), the economy (5.9%) and red tape (3.3%) as the key issues for the UK hospitality sector.
Commenting on the results, Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, said: “More than two thirds of our members are senior managers and our survey has revealed strong points of view on both sides of the debate. For those who are still undecided on how to vote on 23 June, we have reports and research relevant to hospitality, travel and tourism available to read and download from our homepage.”
The above survey results are based on 273 responses to an email survey sent to UK Institute of Hospitality members on 11 May 2016.