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Businesses backing Britain to stay IN Europe

March 26, 2014 2:58 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

When it comes to the debate about whether Britain should be IN or OUT of Europe, it's clear what British businesses want.

According to a report by the CBI, 8 out of 10 businesses would vote to stay IN Europe. Here are just a few of them:

Image: Giles Goodall



"EasyJet is a product of the EU's deregulation of Europe's aviation market. Without deregulation we would not exist."


"The Internal Market has allowed Europe to influence economic policymaking in other regions of the world far more effectively than the UK could have done on a unilateral basis, allowing UK firms to enter and participate in global markets which might otherwise be less accessible to them"

Kelloggs (which operates out of Manchester)

"The biggest short term risk to Manchester's competitiveness in the EU is a simple one. It is the risk the UK could leave it."


"The UK is part of the European Union - [that] is very important....From the foreign investor point of view I hope that the UK will remain as an EU member."


"The UK economy is not strong enough [on its own] in a globally interdependent world. We tend to take for granted the good things the EU brings to Britain, [but] don't expect the same benefits if you are out."


"The EU plays a vital role opening market access world-wide, with far greater leverage (for example into Asian markets) than could be obtained by nations acting individually."


"From a purely economic point of view, I can't see that the withdrawal of the UK [from the EU] would be favourable for any UK industries. It would isolate the UK economically. Every company would be forced to re-evaluate the implications of investing in the UK. It would no doubt have an impact on its ability to supply European markets"

Federation of Small Businesses

"The internal market offers easy access for first-time exporters with a market of 500 million customers and 23 million businesses on their doorstep. The internal market creates some legal certainty and a level playing field throughout competition rules and many harmonised rules. This means that businesses can save considerable cost when selling to EU countries."

Scottish Whisky Association

"Sales of Scotch Whisky within the 27 EU Member States totalled more than half a billion bottles, or about 42% of the industry's volumes. The EU is vital to the industry's long term sustainability, both as an internal market and as a strong voice in international trade negotiations."


"Don't discuss leaving a trading partner where 50 per cent of your exports go, that would be devastating for the UK economy"


"If we were not within the EU, Siemens would make it quite difficult for me to continue to invest in those factories."

Tata Steel

"As the largest single market in the world, the EU has a strong bargaining position in trade negotiations. Conversely, on its own, as a relatively small market, the UK would not be as attractive for third countries to negotiate with and would not have the same bargaining power."

BAE Systems Chief Executive

"Do I think it is the right thing for the UK to stay? Yes, to maintain the stability we have got."

Bosideng UK

"As the UK re-examines its relationship with the European Union, we would certainly like to see the UK remain within the EU. Like us, a lot of other Chinese firms choose the UK as a base to address Europe as a whole, and the UK being in the EU certainly helps with that. If the UK withdrew, those investors might think again."

AB Sugar

"It is particularly advantageous to operate within a trading bloc allowing the UK to have greater influence globally than might otherwise be the case."


"The Europe debate does not help to create certainty. When I talk to US clients who have not been immersed in the European debate as we have, they say that what they need is clarity. There is no question it will impact business - it will hit investment into the UK."


"Anything that weakens our ability to trade with the region would be detrimental to UK manufacturing.... There would have to be some penalty to being outside rather than inside that's the risk I think."


"Everything is much easier because of the single market, and if that scenario was changed it would make it more challenging.


"Kingfisher is a steadfast supporter of the Single Market. As a pan European retailer with large operations in the UK, France, Spain and Poland and with joint ventures in Germany and Turkey, the company has a clear interest in the harmonisation of certain standards and legislation across the EU."


"There are some who say that we could retain access to the single market without being a member of the EU; that the UK could withdraw and have a relationship more akin to Norway's or Switzerland's. I'd urge them to really look at the detail."


"Airbus Group, we note, would never have achieved its success to date without a working and effective partnership of countries and companies within Europe, which only collectively can deliver the scale required to be globally successful."


"It's not that international companies will stop investing in Britain, but their investment just won't be at the scale we have become accustomed to"


"One of the reasons we decided to set up Boticca in London is because its melting pot affords entrepreneurs immediate and easy access to the best European talent."


"The UK not only has to be part of Europe. It has to be a fundamentally active part of Europe. To think about the UK being outside of Europe doesn't make sense."


"We are a trading company. We must stay in Europe, we must position Europe for the future, which is more competitive, less regulation"

DHL Express

"If something went dramatically wrong with the trading relationships between the UK and the EU, it would affect us and a lot of businesses. If a parting regressed into protectionism towards the rest of Europe, then that would be a bad thing and a backward step."

Goldman Sachs

"In all likelihood we would transfer a substantial part of our European business from London to a eurozone location - the most obvious contenders being Paris and Frankfurt."


"The UK should be a member of the European Union from the standpoint of our operations. I had a meeting with the Prime Minister and I strongly requested him to do that. For Japanese businesses, the UK and the Continent are very complimentary."

The minute you go away from the single market, you reduce the certainty"

JP Morgan

"The UK acts as a gateway to Europe for many financial institutions and corporates from around the world. Their establishment and subsequent growth in the UK is no coincidence but is linked to the country's membership of the world's largest single market, the European Union"


"Competence over international trade and investment negotiations should remain with the EU. The EU's economic size and political influence give it substantial weight in the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral agreements with third countries."

City of London Corporation

"The UK must remain a full part of the EU single market, while also continuing to have full access to the decision-making process that sets the rules for this single market."

Automotive Council

"The Automotive Council believes that the UK's active membership of the EU is an essential factor in the automotive industry's current and future success."


"The points outlined above clearly show the many benefits of the EU's trade agenda. Member states gain from being part of the EU as it allows them to benefit from the preferential arrangements included in EU trade agreements."


"It is really poppycock to believe that the City can survive in its present form if it is not an integral part of the European financial services framework. London must have complete and unfettered access to the wholesale Euro markets"

British Retail Consortium

"Put simply, UK retailers get better terms of access to certain third country markets by virtue of their membership of the EU."

EEF, UK manufacturers' organisation

"The UK's economic well-being is heavily linked to our biggest trading partner and we cannot afford to risk the disruption that leaving the EU would cause...... Rather than raising doubts about our future in Europe, the government should focus on making it work better for Britain."

British Bankers' Association

"The single market for financial services is a significant factor in the success of the UK as a financial centre and therefore of considerable value to the UK economy"