British business lobby: Members back staying in EU

GMT 12:30 2016 Wednesday ,16 March

Arab Today, arab today British business lobby: Members back staying in EU

Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron
London - AFP

Britain's biggest business lobby saidtoday that most of its members want the country to stay in theEuropean Union, ahead of a key referendum to be held in threemonths.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said a surveyof its members showed 80 per cent believed remaining in the EUwould be "in the best interests of their business and thewider UK economy".

Just five per cent said that "Brexit" -- or Britainexiting the EU -- would be in their best interests, while 15per cent were uncertain.

The CBI survey, carried out by independent pollstersComRes, quizzed 773 small, medium and large companies acrossBritain.

Britons will vote on June 23 in a critical referendum todecide whether or not their country should remain in the28-nation bloc.

Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the battle to keepBritain in, but several key members of his Conservative party-- notably Mayor of London Boris Johnson -- have joined theLeave campaign.

However, the CBI, which represents companies employingalmost seven million people in Britain, stressed today that itwould not back any EU referendum campaign group.

The ComRes survey formed part of the CBI's consultationprocess, which prompted its highest policy-making committee torecommend making the economic case for staying in the EU.

"The message from our members is resounding -- most wantthe UK to stay in the EU because it is better for theirbusiness, jobs and prosperity," said CBI director-generalCarolyn Fairbairn.

"Walking away makes little economic sense and risksthrowing away the many benefits we gain from being part of theEU.

"Our members tell us that having guaranteed access to atariff-free market of 500 million people, and to more than 30global trade deals covering 50 countries, are significantadvantages that outweigh the frustrations.

"A minority of members want to leave the EU. We willcontinue to respect and reflect their views and campaign forEU reform to get a better deal for all businesses.

"However, most CBI members are unconvinced thatalternatives to full membership would offer the sameopportunities."


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