You can read our feature on the impact of Brexit on the food & drink industry here.

Professional anxieties over Brexit could take a backseat to personal views on sovereignty, immigration and burdensome red tape if food and drinks professionals are any indicator. Although less than a third (30%) believe a UK exit would be beneficial “professionally”, 39% still plan to vote to leave at the polls on 23 June based on “personal” views compared to 37% who will vote to remain.

For some the prospect of stricter border policies and less “unnecessary” Brussels legislation is enough to overwhelm business concerns over growth, EU trade and recruitment. As one businessperson put it “we will at least have control over our own destiny” outside the EU.

For another “the impact on our business is impossible to estimate” but “on personal gut instinct I would probably be for leaving.”

Most torn between their head and heart are retailers. Professionally they’re split equally over the impact of a UK exit from the EU with 33% in favour, and 33% against. Yet personally a higher proportion (43%) are swayed toward quitting the EU.

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Buyers and traders are equally divided. Thirty-two per cent say a vote to leave could be damaging for food and drink, yet nearly half (48%) will use their personal vote to support Brexit regardless.

On the other hand suppliers are resolutely anti-Brexit both personally and professionally. More than half (52%) insist Brexit is a bad move for business, and 48% intend to back that up in the voting booths come June, compared to only 26% that will back the Leave campaign. “To pull out of Europe would be like walking blindfolded over a cliff and hoping for the best,” said one.

Most likely to be governed by these professional concerns are food and drinks professionals working in a supplier with an annual turnover of over £10m. More than half (52%) of those working in large food and drink firms insist Brexit is a bad move professionally, and a nearly equal proportion (47%) will use their vote to remain in the EU.

But they’ll face a contingent of voters from smaller food and drinks firms more likely to be swayed by personal views.

Although a third (32%) of those from small companies agrees an UK exit from the EU is professionally risky, 44% say personally they’ll vote to Leave. As one explained, “We are a family business trading in our local area, sourcing goods locally as much as possible, so in or out should not affect us too much business wise.”