Unconvinced by Alternatives to EU Membership

The Journal (Newcastle, England), March 22, 2016 | Go to article overview

Unconvinced by Alternatives to EU Membership


Byline: SARAH GLENDINNING

THOUGH the EU referendum is about more than economics, it's clear that the future prosperity of the UK matters to us all.

This is why the CBI, based on a reaf-firmed mandate from its members, will be making the economic case for remaining in the EU between now and polling day.

Four in five of the CBI's members, who employ nearly seven million people - about a third of all private sector employees - and speak for tens of thousands of companies of all sectors and sizes across the UK, have told us it is best for their business, jobs and the prosperity of our country to remain in the EU.

It's a major decision that's been taken with care and rigour. Over the past three weeks, the CBI has mobilised its full network of business councils - its business parliament that has helped shape a successful UK economy for 50 years. Twenty four CBI councils involving hundreds of business leaders from all corners of the UK have given their view on Remain versus Leave. At the same time, the CBI commissioned ComRes, a respected polling company, to conduct an independent member survey.

The message back has been resounding. Every CBI regional and sector council delivered a strong majority in favour of staying in the UK. 80% of members in the independent ComRes poll said the same thing, including 71% of smaller (SME) members.

Not one of the CBI's 140 trade association members, representing many thousands of smaller companies, said they favoured leaving.

What is clear is that, for the overwhelming majority, guaranteed access to a tariff-free market of 500m people and to more than 30 global trade deals brings advantages that outweigh the frustrations. …

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