Confor seeks members' views on EU poll

CONFOR has opened a poll to gauge the views of the forestry and wood sector on the forthcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

As well as asking whether those responding wish to remain in the EU, it also asks Confor members if they think they have enough information to make a decision when the vote takes place on June 23rd.

The results of the poll will be revealed at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) at Westminster on April 19th. The APPGF will discuss how a vote to leave the EU might impact on the sector, with two MPs speaking up for each side of the argument. MPs from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will participate in the discussion.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: "It is clear that there is a range of opinions across the sector on the future of the EU. We are keen to get an idea of where the balance of opinion lies."

Confor is also producing a report, written by Guy Watt of John Clegg Consulting Ltd, outlining what the implications of a vote by the British people to leave the European Union might be for  the forestry and wood sector.

Stuart Goodall said: "There are clearly a number of areas where businesses in our sector are impacted by the decisions of the European Union - such as regulations and subsidy payments - and by the operation of a single European market.

"The referendum is a hugely important decision for the British people to take.  Confor wants to make sure our industry is well-informed about he key issues for forestry and wood processing." 

He added: "Predicting national and international trends is not easy and there will be implications for our sector whatever decision the British people take.  What we do know is that inside or outside the EU, demand for wood products will continue to grow. Governments throughout the UK need to do more to help plant the large numbers of trees needed to meet our requirements for wood in future."

* You can access the poll from the Confor website - simply enter the following link into your web browser: