Increasing scepticism among UK business leaders over the perceived benefits of the European Union (EU) has seen business leaders lobby the government to secure a better deal for the UK in Europe.
Michael Spencer, chief executive officer (CEO) of interdealer broker Icap, Richard Burrows, chairman of BAT, Ocado chairman Sir Stuart Rose and Lord Wolfson, CEO of fashion chain Next are among 500 individuals who have signed up to Business for Britain, a campaign to renegotiate the UK’s membership of the EU.
The group, which includes other senior figures from companies ranging from FTSE 100 blue chips to smaller organisations, supports prime minister David Cameron’s approach to recasting the UK’s relationship with Brussels, the de facto capital of the EU.
Cameron has already pledged to wrest back powers from Brussels before offering an in-out referendum on the EU by 2017, although this is contingent on his Conservative party being returned to power at the next election in two years’ time.
A statement issued by Business for Britain read: “As business leaders and entrepreneurs responsible for millions of British jobs, we believe that the government is right to seek a new deal for the EU and for the UK’s role in Europe.
“Far from being a threat to our economic interests, a flexible, competitive Europe – with more powers devolved from Brussels – is essential for growth, jobs and access to markets.”
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