In The Press
BNE Chairman in The Times - Does Britain need a referendum on Europe?
8 June 2012
Sir, The last thing the UK needs at this time is a referendum on our membership of the EU, which would create damaging uncertainty. Uncertainty is bad for business at the best of times. During a double-dip recession, it’s much worse.
There is even less reason to call for a referendum at a time when the EU may look very different in a year, let alone at the time of the next general election. Many of our largest trading partners are experiencing extreme difficulty which is hurting us as well as them. As they go through the pain of trying to sort out their problems, the UK’s interests are best served by remaining a constructive partner.
Calling for an alliance of countries, such as with the UK and Turkey, to have full access to the single market outside the EU will never happen because other member states would simply never allow it. The UK is a representative democracy with political parties running on comprehensive manifestos before elections. We should not fall into the trap of thinking we need to hold distracting referendums every time we face a big issue.
Chairman, Business for New Europe