A new CBI publication has detailed what the ‘two futures’ of remaining and leaving the EU may mean for British business and the UK’s prosperity. The CBI says a future inside the EU would secure the benefits business already receives from membership and build upon them following the prime minister’s renegotiation. The CBI also says a future outside the EU is uncertain and could have a lasting negative impact on the economy. CBI members are clear – 80% say it would be better for their business if the UK was to remain in the EU.
Separately this week, the directors-general of the business federations from Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands, alongside the CBI and the pan-European group BUSINESSEUROPE, met the prime minister to discuss what the implications of leaving the EU would be for European investment into the UK.
EU membership is an important factor in the UK maintaining and attracting £377bn worth of investment from these four countries alone and, in turn, £185bn of investments have flowed the other way, according to OECD figures from 2014.
Speaking ahead of the event, Carolyn Fairbairn cautioned that barriers must not be put in the way of this investment, stating that “there’s no doubt” being in the EU with full access to the Single Market is a large part of the UK’s appeal.
On 15 April, the ten week regulated period for the EU referendum begins, placing strict spending limits on the activities of organisations and individuals which are judged by the Electoral Commission to be influencing voters.
The CBI is presently not planning to register as a permitted participant with the Electoral Commission in order to campaign for a specific outcome in the referendum. We will, however, continue to represent the views of our members in the debate in a way which is compliant, including, for example, through the media.
We will also support members by informally providing guidance around what they need to know to remain compliant themselves and to monitor the media debate as it evolves in the coming weeks. Members can review the CBI’s legal and regulatory guidance for the referendum period in its EU information pack here.