Nearly a third of British and German companies would consider moving jobs out of the UK, or leave the country entirely, if it decided to leave the European Union.
The survey of 700 British and Germans firms found that 29% said they would reduce capacity or relocate completely in the event of a Brexit.
IT and technology companies will be the most likely to pack their bags and jump on a plane if the UK votes for independence from the EU, with 41% indicating they would do so. But around a quarter (26%) of those in the manufacturing sector said they would consider reducing capacity.
Tellingly, just 13% of all respondents said they believe a Brexit would increase employment in the UK. And only 21% said that the UK should leave the Union.
“Given that we worked with such a ‘soft’ scenario, we were surprised to find how clear the pro-membership tendency was across British and German companies," said Ulrich Schoof, senior project manager at Bertelsmann Stiftung, which commissioned the survey.
The survey highlighted some already well-known concerns about the UK's membership in the EU, including regulation (34%), and the euro (22%). However, it appears these are stronger concerns for British companies (37%) than German ones (32%).
Separately, HSBC said it could move 1,000 jobs from London to Paris if the UK decided to leave the Union.