CBI: Business case for being in Europe is strong

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CBI PRESIDENT Paul Dreschler has brushed aside questions whether the lobby group is representing the interests of all its members over the thorny issue of the European Union.

The Confederation of British Industry represents 190,000 businesses, split between trade associations and several thousand corporates, according to chief membership director Sara Parker.

Mr Dreschler told The Yorkshire Post: “The CBI view is that the business case for being in Europe is a strong one, but we would prefer to be in a reformed Europe so that’s our goal. So the question is what is the best way to achieve a reformed Europe.

“I believe that’s by being at the top table, collaborating with the many other countries and businesses who share our goals to have a much stronger Europe, where we are all more competitive and we are able to seize the best opportunities on a global basis.

“I meet business people from all around Europe and they all have got the same goal, which is we want a better, a more productive, a more effective Europe from which we can all compete within Europe but also globally.

“I don’t think this is the UK in isolation and I think what George Osborne and David Cameron are trying to do is right and I am confident they will get a good deal from Britain.

“It will just take time, it will take conversation, it will take collaboration and it will take consensus. The long-term success of the UK is predicated on being on the strongest possible economic platform and that’s great infrastructure at home, but it is also global trade deals.”

Business Secretary Sajid Javid criticised the CBI in June for suggesting that Britain should stay in the European Union “no matter what”. He told the organisation: “You wouldn’t dream of sitting down at the start of a merger or acquisition and like a poker player showing his hand to the table announcing exactly what terms you were prepared to accept.”