Business Leaders Warn Cameron Over EU

Share On Facebook
share on Linkedin

Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson and WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell back UK Membership of the European Union

UK business leaders have signed a letter warning Prime Minister David Cameron from seeking a whole renegotiation of the country’s membership of the European Union (EU).

Supported by Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson, BT Group Chairman Sir Michael Rake and Sir Martin Sorrell, chairman of global advertising giant WPP, the later states that to “call for such a move in these circumstances would be to put our membership of the EU at risk and create damaging uncertainty for British business, which are the last things the prime minister would want to do”.

Speaking on Sunday Sir Martin commentated that if the UK continued to “grandstand” about its position on Europe then the country’s ability to renegotiate fundamental changes in its interests would be greatly reduced.

The letter comes ahead of speech in which the Prime Minister is expected to set out reforms he wishes to see the world’s largest free market make before putting them to the British people in a referendum. Mr Cameron, who argues that the UK should remain in the EU, is under increasing pressure from backbench members of his Conservative party and the UK Independence Party to hold a vote on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the EU-supporting Liberal Democrats, argued that Mr Cameron would be speaking as leader of the Conservative party and would not be advocating government policy. Mr Clegg called for the UK to take a greater role within the EU, arguing that the country needs to be strong in its “neck of the woods”.

Sir Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry and letter signee, stated that “Whatever the emotional appeal of exiting the EU may be to some in our society, there are key facts that we must all remember: UK membership provides unfettered access to a single market of 500 million people, which today is our largest export customer. Departure would necessitate multiple bilateral agreements, frustrate free trade and damage our export performance in the medium term. Growth in new markets, however rapid, could not compensate for the inevitable decline in European activity”.

Gunther Krichbaum, chair of Germany’s European affairs committee and a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, has called for Mr Cameron not to “blackmail” Europe by threatening take Britain out of Europe. Mr Krichbaum argues that a referendum “could paralyse efforts for a better Europe and deeper integration” which would not “be in Britain’s interests”.

The concern of business leaders and allies of Chancellor Merkel follow comments by Philip Gordon, US assistant secretary for European affairs that called for the UK to remain in the EU. Whilst stating that the matter was for the “British government and the British people to define their relationship with the European Union” Mr Gordon argued that the US values “a strong UK voice in a strong European Union”.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR FREE ON ADVFN, the world's leading stocks and shares information website, provides the private investor with all the latest high-tech trading tools and includes live price data streaming, stock quotes and the option to access 'Level 2' data on all of the world's key exchanges (LSE, NYSE, NASDAQ, Euronext etc).

This area of the site is for independent financial commentary. These blogs are provided by independent authors via a common carrier platform and do not represent the opinions of ADVFN Plc. ADVFN Plc does not monitor, approve, endorse or exert editorial control over these articles and does not therefore accept responsibility for or make any warranties in connection with or recommend that you or any third party rely on such information. The information available at is for your general information and use and is not intended to address your particular requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by ADVFN.COM and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making (or refraining from making) any investment decisions. Authors may or may not have positions in stocks that they are discussing but it should be considered very likely that their opinions are aligned with their trading and that they hold positions in companies, forex, commodities and other instruments they discuss.

Leave A Reply

Do you want to write for our Newspaper? Get in touch:

By accessing the services available at ADVFN you are agreeing to be bound by ADVFN's Terms & Conditions

P: V: D:20210516 13:15:05