Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

David Cameron UK EU Council

David Cameron, UK’s Prime Minister, during the last EU Council (TV Newsroom European Council, 20/02/2016)

A few days ago, a bit after London’s Mayor Boris Johnson openly declared his support for a “Brexit”, UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron’s campaign to keep Britain inside the European Union won a priceless boost. Last Thursday, the chairman of the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, Martin Temple, said Brexit would lead to an “abyss of uncertainty and risk” and “no tangible benefits”.

An abyss of risk

Speaking at the EEF’s annual dinner, Temple laid out the economic and political argument for staying in the EU, saying the UK politician should lead the drive to reform the EU from within. “The EU is a useful whipping post for populists but the facts of our economic lives in Britain are European”, said Mr. Temple. “The job of our elected politicians is to commit themselves to using the power and influence they have to make it work better, rather than make excuses about the limitations they face, and simply giving up and taking us out into an abyss of uncertainty and risk”, he also declared.

Mr. Temple also spoke about the attractiveness of the UK as part of the EU, and the potential risk for the country to lose both foreign investment and high-skill jobs, should it leave the bloc: “In short, the great risk of leaving is that our country would be economically poorer”, he said. “Being in the EU gives us certainty, whereas those who argue we should leave can only offer uncertainty and risk with few, if any, real tangible benefits. The risk our companies might be less prosperous, the jobs of the people who work for them less secure, their future pension worth less.”

Top corporate bosses’ letter

The very clear words by EEF’S Temple came only days after Mr. Cameron’s “In” campaign won another precious endorsement, when bosses at more than a third of the companies in the FTSE 100 have signed a letter in support of the UK’s continued membership of the EU.

The letter, published at the Times , contained the signatures of some of Britain’s top corporate bosses and praised Cameron’s agreement with his EU counterparts in Brussels a few days ago. “Following the prime minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union”, 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”.

All industries are included in the letter, ranging from retail and media to manufacturing and energy, in an attempt to show that not only City banks support the idea of a UK within the European Union. GlaxoSmithKline, easyJet, Barclays, BAE Systems, BT and Shell are among the companies that signed the document, which together employ “more than 1 million people across the country”, as the letter reads.

A “stronger” Britain

“Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs: it would put the economy at risk”, they said. “Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the European Union,” the letter concluded.

The words by EEF’s leader Martin Temple and the letter by FTSE 100 leaders are together a big sign on how important the Brexit question is of UK businesses and not only. A survey by the Institute of Directors also shows that 60 per cent of its members support remaining in Europe, although there’s a consistent part of British company which has not yet entered the “field”.

Not everyone is “In” though

The letter is indeed missing signatures from retail giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s, which have said that the decision should be made by the British people alone. Supermarket Morrisons, which is no longer on the FTSE 100 anyway, has also not signed the letter. Sainsbury’s wanted to say that it was an “apolitical organization” and the vote on Europe was a “matter for the British people.”

The letter is also missing signatures from the bosses of two major UK banks. Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays bank both declined to sign the letter. Moreover, Chairman of Lloyds Banking, Lord Blackwell, said the EU referendum was “ultimately a matter for the British people.”

A strong political matter

On a  political level, the Brexit is becoming an enormous point of contention for the UK day after day, especially inside the Conservative Party. Indeed Mr. Cameron’s announcement first, and Mayor Johnson then opened a strong debate in the country which have widely dominated the UK media during last week, and that was not all. The shockwaves generated by the FTSE 100 leaders’ letter came only days before George Osborne, British conservative Finance Minister, openly pushed financial leaders from the top 20 economies (G20) to include the risk of a Brexit in their list of dangers to the world economy.

The day before the Times published the letter by FTSE 100 leaders, Mr. Cameron also shook lawmakers with very strong words indeed. He said the UK economy would undoubtedly suffer should the country leave the EU, and also opened for geo-political risks, as the UK would be “less secure” against threats from Russia and terrorism. As Bloomberg reports, he said the agreements he had reached on welfare, excluding Britain from “ever closer union” and protecting the interests of the country outside the euro would improve Britain’s relationship with the bloc.

BoJo’s “No” point

Mayor Johnson did not like PM Cameron’s speech, and that was clearly exhibited in his column at the Telegraph. “There is only one way to get the change we need – and that is to vote to go”, Mayor Johnson wrote. “All EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says ‘No’”, Mr. Johnson added. “This is the only opportunity we will ever have to show that we care about self-rule. A vote to ‘Remain’ will be taken in Brussels as a green light for more federalism, and for the erosion of democracy”.

A big Tory question

The question is more than open inside the Tories, which are living days of turmoil. PM Cameron openly defended the deal he finally managed to get from the EU, and promised a special membership: “Our special status means that Britain can have the best of both worlds. In the parts of Europe that work for us, influencing the decisions that affect us. But we will be out of the parts of Europe that don’t work for us”. Most of the Conservatives are said to be happy with what PM Cameron has negotiated with the EU, although that doesn’t seem to be enough to calm down the thirst for a total freedom.

The proud words by London Mayor Johnson, who spoke about a Britain that has “spent 500 years trying to stop continental European powers uniting against us”, surely offers food for thought and inspiration also for the non-“Brexit” backers.

However, it seems that at least for now all the threats concerning the UK economy being left outside of the EU echo too loud.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

Schengen is losing ground fast revealing Europe’s clear inability to deal with migration crisis

Eurobarometer: Not a single answer about what the Banking Union will cost to citizens

Eurozone examines the prospect of issuing debt paper jointly

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: List of Recent Climate Funding Announcements

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Dangerous Trumpism in the Middle East with an anti-European edge

Who threatens the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians?

Beyond self-regulation: dealing with Europe’s consumption problem

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

Commission: Gifts of €6 billion and free trainees to ‘help’ poor employers

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Italian voters put again the European Peoples in the Brussels picture

Hostages to a rampant banking system

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

The European Parliament floating over the South China Sea

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

Extra mild ECB tapering of QE and zero interest rates keep euro low

Greece’s Tsipras: Risking country and Eurozone or securing an extra argument for creditors?

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Lagarde: Keep feeding the banks cut down wages and food subsidies

The consequences of Brexit seen by a European young entrepreneur

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

“For my children Italy will be an innovation lab and not a museum”; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

How dearly will Germany pay for the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal

Medical students: The need for emigration

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

Eurozone guarantees all banks with…taxpayers’ money

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

ECB’s new money bonanza handed out to help the real economy or create new bubbles?

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Eurozone: Despite anemic growth and shaky banks marks record trade surplus

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities


EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Will Europe be able to deal with the migration crisis alone if Turkey quits the pact?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s