In The Press

Sir Mike Rake in the FT - What British business wants from a reformed Europe

4 November 2013

The most important change is that the EU must become more outward-looking and open, writes Mike Rake It is difficult to put a value on UK membership of the EU, but the CBI, the business group, reckons it accounts for about 5 per cent of British gross domestic product. That is between £62bn and £78bn a …

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BNE in the Huffington Post - How Should Businesses Navigate the Complex EU Referendum Debate?

30 October 2013

By Natasha Thomas David Cameron once famously promised not to "bang on about" Europe. But 2013 has been the year when the battle lines over Britain's future in the European Union hardened, forcing political and business leaders from across the spectrum to take sides on this issue. Indeed, we've already seen the formation of two …

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BNE in the Evening Standard - Staying in the EU makes business sense for Britain

19 August 2013

By Sir Martin Sorrell The economic consequences of withdrawing from the union after a referendum would be disastrous. Say it quietly, but it looks a lot like the eurozone may be emerging from recession. One of the grey swans threatening business is looking whiter, just at the time when Britain is reconsidering whether it should …

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BNE Chairman in City AM - Brussels deal

12 August 2013

[Re: British business would thrive under a bespoke new deal with Brussels, Friday] The author believes it is possible to have “minimum regulation from Brussels, and maximum access to the Single Market”. It sounds too good to be true because it is. Of the three templates discussed, only Norway’s would give full access to the …

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BNE Chairman in the Times - Trade and the EU

12 August 2013

Turkey’s customs union was intended as a step towards EU membership. It is not suitable for the UK as a step away from EU membership Sir, The suggestion from Business for Britain that we should leave the EU in order to form a customs union is somewhat surprising (report, Aug 9). Turkey’s customs union was …

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BNE Director in the Evening Standard

9 August 2013

Your poll on Britain’s EU membership shows that most in the City agree we are better off in, but that we need to reform our relationship. This is what our business manifesto for EU reform makes clear, with the backing of more than a quarter of the FTSE 100. More can be done to enhance …

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BNE Chairman in the Telegraph - Opponents of Europe will need more than conspiracy theories

29 July 2013

By Roland Rudd As the debate on Europe hots up, there are some bizarre theories doing the rounds. The pro-European campaign is apparently a conspiracy; recent statements from the USA, Japan, Australia, Italy, Poland and Ireland suggesting that Britain should remain part of the European Union are evidence of a dark plot. Euro-sceptics may feel …

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BNE in City AM - European Union lobbyists clash after Japan call

22 July 2013

by Jenny Forsyth Rival campaign groups clashed yesterday after the Japanese government warned the UK not to quit the EU. Rory Broomfield of Better Off Out hit back at Japan, saying that free trade would continue unhindered even were the UK to leave the EU. He said: “It’s free trade – not membership – that promotes …

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BNE in the Evening Standard - Reform the EU, yes — but to leave it would be madness

15 July 2013

By Dame Helen Alexander While Parliament debates whether and when Britain should vote on our membership of the EU, let’s not forget the bigger picture. A car, van, bus or truck rolls off a production line in Britain every 20 seconds. Eighty per cent of those are exported and half of those go to Europe, …

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BNE Chairman in the Times - Britain’s part in the EU

4 July 2013

Sir, The letter from the historians adding their voices to those calling for reform in Europe (July 3) is welcome, but they make three criticisms which have straightforward answers. First, they say that new EU taxes “penalise” finance. It looks as though the Financial Transactions Tax is dying, and the UK recently secured a deal …

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BNE Chairman in the Times - British business leaders would be very worried by an all-out exit of EU

3 July 2013

By Andrew Clark Any referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union could be thrown into chaos by an ill-timed “loopy” human rights ruling from Strasbourg, the head of the Institute of Directors (IoD) has warned. More than 60 per cent of the IoD’s members export to the EU, according to Simon Walker, the institute’s …

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BNE Chairman in the Times - Looking at Britain’s place in the world

3 July 2013

By David Wighton The Times CEO Summit brought together more than a hundred business leaders in the Institute of Directors’ splendid Pall Mall headquarters to address the question of Britain’s Place in the World. There was a nearly unanimous answer. In Europe. Not only was there wide agreement that Britain should and would stay in a …

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BNE Chairman in the Times - Reform on Europe will lead to a ‘tectonic shift’

2 July 2013

By Damian Whitworth You can’t quite see mainland Europe from the top of the Gherkin, but on Monday evening the view was so clear that it felt as if France must be just beyond the distant haze where hills met the sky. Europe did, however, loom metaphorically large on the horizon for delegates who gathered …

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BNE Chairman in City A.M. - UK can make the whole of Europe more competitive without a special deal

2 July 2013

By Roland Rudd Which EU reform is best for business? Europe needs reforming now to make it more competitive, and in doing so Britain will be more enthusiastic about its membership. We have spent time consulting businesses about what the UK needs to push for in Europe, and have travelled to many European capitals, finding …

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BNE in the FT - Nick Clegg threatens to derail David Cameron’s EU referendum plan

2 July 2013

By George Parker, Political Editor Nick Clegg has threatened to derail David Cameron’s planned EU referendum in any future coalition government, claiming the Conservatives were “talking to themselves” over Europe. The Liberal Democrat leader on Monday said his party did not support the prime minister’s planned referendum in 2017 following a “so-called renegotiation” of Britain’s relationship with …

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BNE on the BBC - Cameron and Cable clash over EU referendum vote

1 July 2013

Vince Cable has dismissed calls for an "in-out" referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union as a "serious distraction". Speaking at the launch of a campaign to increase the scope of the single market, the business secretary said a public vote would add to uncertainty. But Prime Minister David Cameron urged the Liberal …

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BNE in the Telegraph - CBI boss Sir Mike Rake: Britain must stay in EU

30 June 2013

By Kamal Ahmed Sir Mike Rake, the new president of the CBI, has said that continued membership of the European Union is "overwhelmingly" in the UK's economic interests ahead of a new report backing EU membership signed by 160 chief executives and business leaders. In his first public comments on Europe since being made head of …

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BNE in the Telegraph - Britain can play a key part in reforming the European Union

30 June 2013

By Sir Mike Rake The Government's success in getting transatlantic trade talks off the ground at the G8 in Loch Erne shows what we can gain through effective co-operation and negotiation. This is true in Europe and globally. Government ministers have long been saying that businesses need to speak up for these relationships. They are …

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BNE Event on BBC – EU ‘needs new fundamental law’ - MEP Verhofstadt

6 June 2013

A new round of EU treaty change and referendums will be needed in 2015 after next year's European elections, says one of the bloc's top politicians. The liberal leader in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, called for a "new fundamental law for the EU" to give the bloc long-term cohesion. The former Belgian prime minister …

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BNE in the Telegraph –  British business leaders: Sceptics putting politics before economics

20 May 2013

Let's take a closer look at that story in the Independent this morning (see 07.05) about some of Britain's most eminent business leaders accusing Eurosceptic MPs of putting "politics before economics" and abandoning the national interest in their calls for Britain to leave the EU. Sir Richard Branson, Lloyds chairman Sir Win Bischoff and Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP have written a letter to …

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BNE in the Times – No 10 fears UKIP may win Euro election

20 May 2013

Downing Street is conceding that the UK Independence Party could come first in next year’s European elections. A senior figure at No 10 said privately that it was now a “reasonable assumption” that Nigel Farage’s party would top the poll in 2014, despite repeated attempts by David Cameron to stop the loss of Tory votes …

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BNE in City AM – EU row deepens as Tory disorder sees Ukip rising

20 May 2013

DAVID Cameron was left fighting opposition on all sides yesterday as Tory divisions widened over Europe and the gay marriage debate. As the Prime Minister faced criticism from Tory activists and former ministers, a group of pro-EU business leaders made their latest call for Britain to stay in Europe even as the Eurosceptic UK Independence …

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BNE in the Daily Mail - Every family would be up £3,500 worse off if Britain left the EU

20 May 2013

Every family will be up to £3,500 worse off if Britain leaves the European Union, business leaders including the heads of BT, Shell and Eurostar warned today. Eurosceptic Tories calling for withdrawal from Brussels are accused of putting ‘politics before economics’, with EU membership worth between £31billion and £92billion a year to the UK. Virgin …

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BBC: Eurosceptic MPs attacked by business leaders

20 May 2013

Those calling for the UK to leave the EU are "putting politics before economics", business leaders have said. In a letter to the Independent, figures from BT, Shell, Lloyds Banking Group and Deloitte, estimated membership was worth up to £92bn a year to Britain. But the 19 signatories accepted reforms were needed and urged David …

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The Telegraph: Economic case to stay in EU is overwhelming – say business leaders

20 May 2013

The intervention comes amid simmering tensions over Britain's EU membership in Westminster, where the Conservatives have been forced to rush out a draft law setting out plans for an "in/out" referendum to placate restive Tory backbenchers, in the face of fierce Liberal Democrat opposition. A raft of influential business leaders including Sirs Richard Branson, Roger Carr and …

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The Independent: British business – We need to stay in the EU or risk losing up to £92bn a year

20 May 2013

Some of Britain’s most successful and eminent business leaders have accused Eurosceptic MPs of putting “politics before economics” and abandoning the national interest in their calls for Britain to leave the European Union. In a letter to The Independent, the group issues a trenchant riposte to politicians who have argued that Britain’s economic interest would be …

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BNE in the FT - Business must make case for Europe, Sir Roger Carr

15 May 2013

Business ‘must make case’ for Europe Business needs to make a strong, fact-based case for Britain staying in the EU if the country is not to stumble inadvertently towards the exit, the CBI president said. Sir Roger Carr expressed optimism that David Cameron’s aim of reaching agreement on reform with Britain’s EU partners before a potential referendum by 2017 was …

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BNE in the Guardian – Restrict EU immigrants’ access to benefits, says pro-Europe group

7 May 2013

Pro-European business leaders responded on Tuesday to the surge in support for Ukip by proposing to restrict EU immigrants' access to benefits, including a three-month qualification period for jobseeker's allowance and removal of child benefit for offspring not living in the UK. The Business for New Europe group admitted there was "a massive credibility gap" with the public …

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BNE in City AM – Business chiefs: UK gains from migrants

7 May 2013

IMMIGRATION produces huge benefits to the UK, a coalition of business leaders will argue today, urging politicians to “fight the myths” that provoke anti-migration sentiment among voters. Between 2004 and 2009, migrants from the new EU member states added £5bn to the UK economy, the group says, noting that incomers are net contributors to the …

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BNE Director in European Voice – We must address political debate on immigration

1 May 2013

  At the end of this year, transitional restrictions in the European Union on job-seekers from Bulgaria and Romania will expire for good. From the start of next year, seven years after those two countries joined the Union, their citizens will be free to seek work and to claim benefits in any other EU member …

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BNE Chairman in City A.M. – Engage with Europe

23 April 2013

Businesses want a reformed, competitive, liberalised Europe, and the facts overwhelmingly support Britain staying in. Almost half our trade, worth £400bn, is with Europe. The benefits of the single market, which we estimate has added about £37bn to UK GDP since 1992, outweigh the costs. It must be extended to include energy, digital and transport; …

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Roland Rudd – BNE Chairman – stresses the need for multilateral EU reform in The Daily Telegraph

22 April 2013

A group of 500 business leaders have called on the Coalition to negotiate a better deal for Britain with Brussels. David Cameron has pledged to claw back powers and then offer voters a choice of staying in the European Union in a referendum by the end of 2017, if the Conservatives are returned to power …

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BNE in The London Evening Standard – French ski rules are protectionist

5 April 2013

The arrest of British ski-instructor Alex Casey in Megève in France is a graphic illustration of the single market not working as it should.  Under EU Law, equivalent qualifications should be recognised automatically unless there is a “substantial difference” in training in the host country and destination. In reality the situation is that the British …

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BNE Director on Sky’s Jeff Randall Live

21 March 2013

Director of BNE–Philip Souta–speaks to Jeff Randall regarding the EU Council Summit; the continuing policy of austerity in the EU, and the rejection by Parliament of the 2013-2020 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF). Watch here      

BNE in City AM - Even I, as a pro-European, am against an EU cap on bankers’ bonuses

5 March 2013

Roland Rudd The latest EU rules to cap bank bonuses have the potential to severely damage a strategic sector, and one that Britain leads in Europe. I say this both as a passionate European and believer in European reform. The problem lies in the way the proposals have been drawn up. As they stand, they …

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BNE in The Independent - EU referendum: A rabbit from a hat… or is it just a dead duck?

24 January 2013

The Prime Minister’s aggressive European gambit has prompted a furious debate about Britain’s future. Here, influential figures tell The Independentwhether he’s done the right thing... Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian pm David Cameron’s promise to hold a referendum regardless of the state of negotiations over a revised EU treaty is playing with fire. He can control neither …

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BNE in Reuters - Business warns Cameron’s EU gamble could strangle economy

23 January 2013

Leading British business figures warned Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday that his plan for an in-out referendum on the European Union membership was a risky gamble that could damage the economy and throttle foreign investment. Speaking after Cameron's call for a vote by 2017, business leaders in London and at the World Economic Forum in Davos said Britain's $2.5 trillion economy would face uncertainty …

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BNE in City AM - Would leaving the European Union be a positive move for businesses in Britain?

18 January 2013

NO Roland Rudd Walking away from Europe – the UK’s biggest trading partner – would damage British business for decades. The UK is one of the most attractive EU countries to investors, but this would quickly cease to be the case if we left, as our access to the single market would be lost. Last …

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BNE on BBC News website - Business leaders urge Cameron not to ‘risk’ EU membership

9 January 2013

Ten of the UK's leading business figures have warned David Cameron not to put membership of the European Union "at risk" in negotiations over the country's relationship with Brussels. The prime minister has said the UK is "perfectly entitled" to demand change. But leaders including Virgin's Sir Richard Branson and BT's Sir Michael Rake say …

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The Telegraph - Why it’s right to stay in the EU

9 January 2013

By Damian Reece Business has not always got it right on Europe. Many high profile names campaigned to take us into the single currency which would have been a disaster. But when it comes to our wider relationship with the European Union, business leaders are correct in warning that we need to be in, rather than out, …

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BNE in The Telegraph - Business leaders’ EU warning to David Cameron

9 January 2013

David Cameron’s plans to renegotiate Britain’s European Union membership are doomed to failure and could hurt the British economy, business leaders have warned. The heads of some of Britain’s biggest companies – including BT and Virgin – have signed an open letter saying that attempting a major change in Britain’s relationship with the EU could …

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Financial Times - Business leaders warn Cameron on EU terms

9 January 2013

By George Parker in London and Peter Spiegel in Dublin Leading British business figures have warned David Cameron that he risks destabilising the economy inadvertently taking Britain out of the EU, if he tries to seek a “wholesale renegotiation of our EU membership”. Mr Cameron will this month set out in a speech in the Netherlands his …

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Letter in the Financial Times - Britain needs to lead in a strong, reformed EU

9 January 2013

From Mr Roland Rudd, Sir Richard Branson and others. Sir, We welcome David Cameron’s decision to focus on the EU’s importance to Britain in his planned speech later this month. The EU remains home to half our exports and is the most powerful trading bloc in the world. Other EU member states are the main …

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