The Federation of Small Business which represents over 186,000 independent business people formally adopted as policy a motion that was fully supported by branch delegates at its National Conference at Blackpool in March.
The FSB's policy is:
The Federation of Small Businesses calls upon Her Majesty’s Government not to sign the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe on the grounds that handing over more power to Brussels will have a detrimental impact on the UK business environment.
The voting on the FSB National Conference motion was as follows:
Block Votes For: 104568
Block Votes Against: 5292
Delegate Votes For: 186
Delegate Votes Against: 18
Strangely, although the decision represents a major boost to the "no" campaign, and clearly expresses members wishes, the FSB itself seem to be in no hurry to publicise it. It was left to Peter Troy, chairman of the FSB Darlington Branch to break the news.
This in turn may reflect the political loyalties of key members of the FSB hierarchy, who are so close to Blair that if they got any closer, they'd be.... (deleted).