EU question mark

The Institute of Directors (IoD) tonight holds its first in a new series of debates over the EU referendum in Birmingham, giving members the chance to hear the arguments for leave and remain.

Whatever their views on the all-important referendum debate, the IoD is urging all businesses to consider the implications of the upcoming referendum. With only six in 10 IoD members having even discussed the issue at board or senior management level, the IoD says business leader need more of an opportunity to listen to the case from both sides.

Allie Renison, head of EU and trade policy at the IoD, said: "Business leaders will have heard plenty of claims from both campaigns on what is at stake in this referendum, but trying to work out what really matters may, at times, feel like wading through treacle. We want to make sure our members get to hear the substance of the issue, rather than just the sentiment, so they can be confident they understand the argument before they vote.

"Even if a firm doesn't directly trade with the EU, it might employ EU citizens, or be part of supply chain that could be affected by the outcome of the referendum. Business leaders up and down the country are telling us that they need to hear more practical arguments about whether, and how, Brexit would really affect their company's future."

The IoD will be holding debates on the following dates, with more to be announced:

19 April - Birmingham3 May - Hook4 May - Bristol10 May - Leeds17 May - London19 May - Belfast25 May - Chelmsford25 May - Nottingham26 May - Southampton31 May - Cardiff6 June - Edinburgh11 June - Hull

For further information, contact the IoD here.

Like many organisations, the IoD will not be campaigning for either side. But in February, following the reform deal negotiated by David Cameron, 60% of IoD members said they plan to vote to stay in the EU, with just 9% undecided.