Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Tuesday 19th May, 2015
The UK leaving the European Union (EU) would not negatively impact British trade with continental economies, according to Graeme MacDonald, chief executive of the construction equipment company JCB.
MacDonald has described the EU as being an important market for his business, which he runs on behalf of its owners, the Bamford family, but has insisted that leaving the single market would not have the kind of negative consequences being alluded to in some quarters.
He went on to say that he believes the UK should pull out of the EU if reductions in business-related bureaucracy cannot be negotiated by the British government.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, the JCB CEO was asked whether the UK would be better off outside the EU as it stands. “I think it would be, because I really don’t think it would make a blind bit of difference to trade with Europe,” he said.
“There has been far too much scaremongering about things like jobs. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to stop trade. I don’t think we or Brussels will put up trade barriers.”
Meanwhile, JCB chairman and prominent Conservative Party donor Lord Bamford told the BBC that he believes Britain might be better off if it were to become independent of the EU.
"We are the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world. We could exist on our own - peacefully and sensibly," he said.
Lord Bamford added that pulling out of the EU would mean that the UK could “negotiate as our own country rather than being one of 28 nations in Brussels as we are today”.
MacDonald went on to underline his argument that it would be counterproductive for European countries to radically adjust their trading relationship with the UK under any circumstances because of the mutual benefits that those relationships bring.
“What is needed is a lot less red tape and bureaucracy. Some of it is costly for us and quite frankly ridiculous. Whether that means renegotiating or exiting, I don’t think it can carry on as it is,” he is quoted as saying.