OVER 300 business leaders have publicly thrown their ‘vote leave’ hat into the Brexit ring arguing that the UK’s ability to compete effectively is being undermined by EU membership.
Among those signing the letter published in the Telegraph are Sir Patrick Sheehy, ex BAT chairman, Steve Dowdle, former Sony Europe VP, JD Weatherspoon founder Tim Martin and co-founder of Superdrug, Peter Goldstein.
The letter – signed by 306 businesses – states that “year-on-year the EU buys less from Britain because its economies are stagnant and millions of people are unemployed”.
It quotes Mervyn King, the former governor of the Bank of England, the euro “might explode” and that “Brussels’ red tape stifles every one of Britain’s 5.4 million businesses, even though only a small minority actually trade with the EU”.
“It is business – not government – which generates wealth for the Treasury and jobs for our communities”, it continues and “outside the EU, British business will be free to grow faster, expand into new markets and create more jobs. It’s time to vote leave and take back control”.
Aside from several big business signatories, the letter is signed by hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses, who employ hundreds of thousands of people.
The letter has been seen a determined effort to counter the claims that a Brexit would damage Britain’s economy, most notably from the IMF and the Bank of England.
Exiters stress that those backing the Remain campaign are funded by big business and that the campaign to keep Britain in Europe is partly being bankrolled by US banks Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, which both donated £250,000 each to the Britain Stronger in Europe group ahead of the June 23 vote on the UK’s EU membership.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan also coughed up £500,000 each to the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.