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CBI: Staying in Europe is crucial


The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has made a case for the UK remaining part of the EU, suggesting that businesses such as those in the financial services industry could find themselves losing their influence if the government chooses to secede.

As emerging markets become increasingly important it is vital British businesses are open to global trade, the organisation argued.

This has traditionally been one of the strengths of the UK's financial services sector, which has played a role as an intermediary between different parts of the globe and developed a presence in countries such as China and India.

However, leaving the EU could have a knock-on effect that leads to companies such as these becoming isolated.

"We all need to know where Britain's future lies in a changing global economy. We have looked beyond the political rhetoric to examine the pros and cons of EU membership and British business is unequivocal; the single market is fundamental to our future," said John Cridland, the CBI's director-general.

Nevertheless, he declared, the EU's current position is far from perfect and the UK needs to take steps to ensure it is getting the best possible deal from the European leadership, added Mr Cridland.

The EU needs to work on fully implementing a market for services, securing trade deals with the US and Japan, and improving digital connections between countries, the CBI claimed.

A survey from CityUK released last week showed the majority of finance chiefs wish to stay in the EU, lending further credence to the CBI's warning to prime minister David Cameron.

Of the respondents surveyed, 88 per cent felt EU membership economically benefits the UK as a whole, while 90 per cent considered it to be crucial to the future of their specific financial services firm.

James Nixon, chief economist of the body, said the UK's attractiveness to emerging markets as "the gateway to Europe" would be diminished by leaving the single market.

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