In The Press

Risk of EU exit has endangered HSBC’s place in Britain

24 April 2015

“With eurosceptics constantly talking up the likelihood of British exit, it is unsurprising that global businesses become nervous about their future here"- Lucy Thomas, Campaign Director of Business for New Europe

HSBC’s decision to review the location of its headquarters shows the dangers of stoking uncertainty over Britain’s EU membership, says Business for New Europe. HSBC have said that uncertainty over Britain’s future in Europe is one of their top concerns – Chairman Douglas Flint said: ““One economic uncertainty stands out, that of continuing UK membership of the EU.”
 
Lucy Thomas, Campaign Director of Business for New Europe, said:
 
“European Union membership is very important for HSBC, as it is for many other banks based in London. As HSBC’s chairman said, ‘working to complete the single market in services and reforming the EU to make it more competitive were far less risky than going it alone, given the importance of EU markets to British trade.’ Of course the risk of Brexit is not the only factor in HSBC’s decision, but it cannot be ignored.
 
“With eurosceptics constantly talking up the likelihood of British exit, it is unsurprising that global businesses become nervous about their future here. The City of London is Europe’s financial centre, and Brexit would only cut it off from a market of 500 million consumers. HSBC employs 48,000 people in this country. Politicians should recognise the danger to jobs caused by playing with fire on Britain’s EU membership.”

 
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Notes to Editors
Business for New Europe is an independent coalition of business leaders advocating a positive case for reform in Europe. Our Advisory Council includes Chairmen and CEOs of FTSE 100 companies and our Executive consists of experts in foreign and economic policy, including former heads of the UK diplomatic service and senior journalists.

We provide a platform for debate on European issues to business leaders and policy makers. We publish research, hold seminars and conferences and seek to ensure that a reasoned, pro-European voice is heard in the UK.

We are a not-for-profit organisation funded by donations from the private sector with offices in London and Brussels.

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