The overwhelming majority of companies in the UK's aerospace, defense, security and space sectors favors Britain remaining as part of the European Union (EU).

A survey of the membership of ADS Group—the trade organization of those four sectors in the UK—shows that 70% of its member companies consider it would be better for their firm if Britain votes to remain part of the EU when a referendum on the issue is held June 23. Only 10% expressed a preference for Britain to leave the EU.

Only 10% of ADS member firms expressed a preference for leaving the EU. Image credit: Pixabay.Only 10% of ADS member firms expressed a preference for leaving the EU. Image credit: Pixabay.“This survey represents the views of organizations of all sizes," notes Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS. "The UK’s aerospace, defense, security and space sectors turn over £56bn annually; they form the backbone of the UK’s industrial economy, employing thousands of people in high-skill, high-value jobs."

“Our members recognize the benefits of the UK remaining part of the EU: access to integrated European supply chains; R&D funding, which enables the UK to compete globally; and the ability to influence and shape EU regulation," Everett adds.

Support for the UK’s continued membership of the EU is widespread across all four sectors—with 76% of aerospace companies, 74% of space companies, 70% of defense companies and 69% of security companies opposing "Brexit," as Britain's potential exodus from the EU is commonly referred to.

According to Nigel Stein, chief executive of the British engineering firm GKN, continued membership guarantees that companies are not only geographically close to their European customers, but also that "we are able to serve them free from tariffs and trade barriers. In addition, a seat at the table in the EU allows us to help shape regulations that impact markets across the globe as well as ensuring that we benefit from EU support for important research work…"

A "poll of polls" carried out by the Financial Times newspaper in mid-April found that "Brexit" is favored to be defeated 43% to 42%.

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