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Adding Date: 06.04.2017

Brexit to damage


A survey of the UK’s language service providers shows more than 76% believe their business with EU based enterprises will be compromised if Britain votes to leave the EU.

The poll, which was commissioned by the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), the language sector’s leading professional body*, found that an overwhelming 89% of its members are in favour of remaining in the EU, with almost half attributing nearly a third of their current revenue to customers based within the Union.

An independent research study conducted by the ATC and published at the end of last year showed that the UK language industry is worth in excess of £1 billion and is responsible for more than 12,000 jobs making the views of Association of Translation Companies of significance when it comes to deciding on the future of the country’s continued membership of the EU.

General Secretary for the ATC, Geoffrey Bowden, comments: “The language sector is a significant contributor to the UK economy, both in its own right and in the international trade which it facilitates for other industries.

“While much remains unknown about the implications of an exit, the economic benefits should not be underestimated and services which Language Service Providers offer are critical if the UK is to take full advantage of the EU as a fertile export market.

“ATC members were single minded in their response, more than two thirds who responded said a departure from the EU will cause a significant deterioration in current levels of business with member states. ATC members also felt that a vote to remain in would mean the removal of the current level of uncertainty with more than a quarter of members expecting to see a subsequent improvement in business levels. We would therefore urge UK residents to carefully consider these, alongside other economic projections, when casting their vote this summer.

“Research has already shown that that poor language skills are still costing the UK economy £48 billion a year in lost export sales**, an exit from the EU will feed into that narrative and make it even harder for UK plc to close its trade deficit with Europe and the rest of the world.”

Commenting on the proposed Brexit, ATC chair, Roy Allkin, added: "As our survey demonstrates more than three quarters of ATC members expect that an exit from the EU will significantly damage their businesses.  From this we can also deduce that the livelihoods of the more than 12,000 people who rely on language service provider companies would be put at risk too. A vote to remain in the EU makes good business sense as far as the language industry is concerned.”

* Online poll commissioned amongst Association of Translation Companies member organisations, March 2016

** Department of Business, Innovation and Skills