EU referendum – a small business perspective

The EU – a perspective from a family-run holiday company 

This is a short blog by Simply Morzine & Simply Salema. Please note that the intention of this article is to enlighten readers to our perspective of the EU referendum – not to preach how a reader should vote.

A small business operating in EU countries

Simply Morzine & Simply Salema is a small, family-run travel company. Simply Morzine provides luxury winter and summer alpine holidays in Morzine, France whilst sister company, Simply Salema provides oceanfront Algarve villa holidays in Salema, Portugal.

The EU provides freedom and benefits to us as a business operating in Europe, to our employees in terms of the opportunities and experiences available to them and to our guests as holidaymakers.


Starting a business in an EU country

In 1995 our founder, Mike Marshall, built our flagship chalet and launched Simply Morzine, including setting up a French subsidiary operating company. This was possible thanks to the freedom, as an EU citizen, to establish your own business in any EU country. In 2006 our company expanded to villa holidays in Portugal, with the building of our main villa – another exciting venture made possible due to Britain being a member of the EU.

Opportunities to study in Europe

Our current managing director, Gareth Marshall, studied abroad in Bordeaux, France, in 2000 as part of the EU Erasmus student placement programme. Gareth’s time in Bordeaux gave him invaluable experience working in France, where he learnt about French businesses and most importantly their language and culture. These skills acquired by Gareth have been fundamental to Simply Morzine’s success. This fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would not have been available to Gareth, or be available to future generations, if Britain were not a member of the EU.

Life-changing opportunities & experiences for young people

The foundation of our business is our resort team. Our seasonal staff team are usually made up of young British citizens, looking for an exciting new opportunity to work abroad in a ski resort. We are able to employ without barriers – they are not required to apply for visas or work permits. Many travel firms, accommodation providers, restaurants, bars and activity companies (e.g. ski schools) across Europe rely on British employees.

Leaving the EU could have a serious impact on the opportunities available and ease of finding employment across Europe. This would likely deprive future generations of the experience enjoyed by the tens of thousands of British citizens currently employed in the French Alps, Portuguese Algarve and other European ski/summer holiday regions every year.


“Being a part of the EU has allowed us to work abroad in two different countries on three separate occasions, without any difficulty whatsoever. We benefit from free healthcare abroad, can come and go as we please, rent and own property, find work and live our lives as if we were at home in the UK. We love living in France, as do many of my friends and colleagues. We are terrified of the consequences of a leave victory, as it will jeopardise the life we have made for ourselves in France. We truly believe we are stronger together”. Hamish & Rachel – Simply Morzine’s resort manager couple.

How will your holiday be affected if we leave the EU?

Although nothing is set in stone, there may be drastic knock-on effects to holidays within the EU should Britain leave. Primarily, the cost of holidays may increase as providers will have to cover extra costs invoked.

  • Expensive and less connected flights

Airlines in the UK currently benefit from the EU’s open skies agreement. This allows regular low fare flights between EU destinations, without prior negotiations.

Should Britain leave the EU, holidaymakers may have far fewer flight options available and at higher rates. EasyJet, who provide many of our guests’ flights, are pro-remain and their chief executive has said that consumers will be far better off in terms of connectivity and low fares if Britain remain in the EU.

  • More expensive or lack of imported goods in chalets

The single market allows EU countries to trade and import/export goods freely. The French operating company of Simply Morzine make full use of this freedom. We buy expensive goods such as beds and furniture (as well as vast quantities of tea!) in the UK and export them to France with no restrictions or tarifs. The EU VAT directive means we can reclaim the VAT in the destination country. Without the EU’s single market the cost of supplying these essential chalet items would increase, resulting higher holiday costs.

  • Higher travel insurance premiums

Leaving the EU could result in British citizens losing their right to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card affords travellers state-provided necessary medical treatment in the host country, where they are essentially treated as a citizen. Without this, travel insurance premiums could drastically increase as insurers would have to prepare to foot expensive medical bills.


As a company, Simply Morzine & Salema firmly believe that Britain should vote to REMAIN in the European Union. Whilst the EU is not perfect, we are stronger together and should help reform from the inside. Let’s not sleepwalk into the removal of privileges such as living, working and studying in Europe that British citizens currently take for granted thanks to Britain’s membership of the EU.


Trip Advisor Simply Morzine
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Our sister company offers luxury Algarve beachfront villas.
Simply Morzine luxury Portugese villas