A total of 70 percent of digital business leaders believe that remaining in the European Union (EU) is best for the UK, a survey published on Thursday by a digital industry representative body showed.
The survey for Tech City UK, a digital technology advocacy think-tank, found that one of the main reasons digital technology leaders gave for staying in the EU was ease of access to a market much larger than the UK market.
In addition, the ease of recruiting suitably qualified staff was cited as an important point. Membership of the EU allows UK businesses to recruit EU citizens without the need to obtain residency or work permits.
The third main reason tech leaders gave for remaining in the EU was that they believed the UK would be a less attractive venue for international tech companies if it was outside the EU.
UK voters are to decide on June 23 in a referendum whether they want to remain in the EU, or end the country's 43-year membership.
Gerard Grech, chief executive of Tech City UK, said: "The UK is seen as a stepping stone into Europe for many digital companies. Founders want access to the market opportunities in Europe as well as to be able to recruit easily from the pool of talent in the 28 membership countries."
"Many tech founders and investors are wary that London and the UK's advantage could be eroded in the event of a vote to leave the EU," Grech added.
Aron Gelbard, chief executive officer of Bloom & Wild, a new start-up online flower delivery business, said: "Overall, like many entrepreneurs, I'm in favor of the UK staying in the EU. The UK domestic market is limited in size compared to the U.S. and China, and this puts a limit on the scale you can reach when building a business in the UK."
Gelbard added: "Easier access to European markets increases the opportunity for UK companies to scale and therefore compete on a global level with our counterparts based in, for example, the U.S.."