Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Wednesday 24th February, 2016
Leaders of some of the UK’s leading companies have made the case in an open letter that leaving the European Union would put British jobs at risk.
People around the UK will be invited to head to the polls and vote on the issue of British membership of the EU on June 23rd and leading Conservative politicians are split on the subject.
But the bosses of Vodafone, Marks & Spencer and BT, among others, have made clear their view that leaving the EU would be bad for British businesses and potentially for their workforces as well.
“Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. Britain will be strong, safer and better off remaining a member of the EU,” the signed letter published in the Times newspaper said.
Reflecting on the recent efforts of prime minister David Cameron in negotiations over British membership of the EU, the letter said: “He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.
“The businesses we lead represent every sector and region of the UK. Together we employ hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Following the prime minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union,” the letter said.
However, there have also been a number of high-profile business leaders from other giant UK companies who have come out in favour of Britain leaving the EU and many more who did not see fit to pledge their support for the open letter sent to the Times.
The prime minister has come out in favour of Britain remaining as part of the EU but has seen members of his own political party, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, speak out in favour of ‘Brexit’ in recent days.
Among the signatories of the recent pro-EU letter were bosses of the aerospace group BAE Systems, the energy giant Shell, the budget airline operator EasyJet and the drinks maker Diageo.