Business leaders warn on Brexit threat to jobs and economy

23rd February 2016


The bosses of some of Britain’s largest companies have warned that leaving the European Union would put jobs and the economy at risk.

An open letter with 198 signatories was published in today’s Times calling for voters to support Britain remaining in the EU  in the referendum on June 23.

The chief executives of 36 FTSE 100 companies including BT, Marks & Spencer, Vodafone,  Shell, HSBC, Ryanair, Heathrow and Gatwick signed a letter published in the Times today, saying an EU exit would be damaging to inward investment. The letter was organised by Downing Street and the Stronger in Europe Campaign.

However, two-thirds of FTSE 100 firms, including Tesco and Sainsbury, Barclays and RBS have not given their backing to the letter.

The letter reads:

“Sir, The businesses we lead represent every sector and region of the UK. Together we employ hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Following the prime minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union. He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.

Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the economy at risk. Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the EU.”

The signatories are:

Nicholas Judd, Founder and head of investment, 90 North Real Estate Partners LLP
Matt McLaren, Executive director, Access Ambition Consultancy Services Ltd
Tony Fernandes, Group chief executive, Air Asia and Founder, Tune Group
Paul Kahn, President, Airbus Group UK
Jacqueline Gold CBE, Chief executive, Ann Summers
Greg Hodkinson, Chairman, Arup
Andy Clarke, Chief Executive, Asda
Pascal Soriot, Chief executive, AstraZeneca
Sir Adrian Montague CBE, Chairman, Aviva
Paul Evans, Group chief executive, AXA UK & Ireland
Peter Rogers, Chief executive, Babcock International Group
Sir Roger Carr, Chairman, BAE Systems
Saghir Munir, Partner/director, Baker & Coleman Solicitors
Richard John Carter, Managing director, BASF
Ian Baxter, Chairman, Baxter Freight Limited
Una Driscoll, Managing director, Belt up Kidz
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief executive, BHP Billiton
Helen Gibbons, Director, Bizlang
Dr Ian Robertson Board, member, BMW AG
Helena Boas, Co-founder, Bodas
Bob Dudley, Chief executive, BP
Chris Grigg, Chief executive, British Land
Sir Alan Parker, Chairman, Brunswick Group
Sir Mike Rake, Chairman, BT Group
Gavin Patterson, Chief executive, BT Group
Christopher Bailey MBE, Chief executive, Burberry Group
Sir John Peace, Chairman, Burberry Group
George Iacobescu CBE, Chairman and chief executive, Canary Wharf Group
Philip Green, Chairman, Carillion
Alex Mitchell, Director, Causarma
Iain C. Conn, Chief executive, Centrica, Utilities
Sarah Golding, Chief executive and partner, CHI & Partners
Christopher Satterthwaite, Chief executive, Chime Communications Group
Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and chief executive, Chivas Brothers
Phil Smith, Chief executive, UK and Ireland, Cisco
Sonny Leong, Chief executive, Civil Service College
Stephen Clarke, Partner/director, CJCH
Paul Walsh, Chief executive, Compass Group
Ian Breminer, Managing director, Complete Coffee
Professor Geeta Nargund, Founder and chief executive, CREATE Health
Tidjane Thiam, Chief executive, Credit Suisse
Kathryn Parsons, Co-founder and chief executive, Decoded
Cathy Owens, Director, Deryn Consulting
Ivan Menezes, Chief executive, Diageo
Peter Callahan, Director, Diamond Dispersions
Seb James, Chief executive, Dixons Carphone
Martha Lane Fox CBE, Co-founder, Doteveryone and
Tim Gentles, Chief executive, Drill Board Worldwid
Dame Carolyn McCall, Chief executive; EasyJet
Lindsley Ruth, Chief executive, Electrocomponents
Liz Weatherill, Managing director, Enable2 C.I.C
Amjad Bseisu, Chief executive, Enquest
Damien Croft, Director, Esplora
Charlie Shaw, Managing director, Esteiro Business Solutions
Adam Shuter, Managing director, Exact Logistics
Roland Rudd, Chairman; FinsburyMedia
James Farley, Executive vice president and president, Europe, Ford Automotive
Nacho Morais, Director, Frank Consulting
Michael Keegan, Executive director, EMEIA, Fujitsu
Stewart Wingate, Chief executive, Gatwick Airport
Mark Elborne, UK chief executive, General Electric
Nigel Stein, Chief executive, GKN
Hazel Pegg, Director, Glastonbury Online
Richard Gnodde, Co-chief executive, Goldman Sachs International
Michael Sherwood, Co-chief executive, Goldman Sachs International
Tom Gosnell, Managing director, Gosnells Beverages
Rooney Anand, Chief executive, Greene King
Juliette Polge de Combret, Director, Green Rendez-Vous
Sir Andrew Witty, Chief executive, GSK
Jenny Halpern, Prince Chief executive, Halpern
David Atkins, Chief Executive, Hammerson
John Holland-Kaye, Chief executive, Heathrow
Allen Hogan, Managing director, Hogan’s Cider
Ashley Govier, Managing director, Hotel services Group
Douglas Flint CBE, Chairman, HSBC
Stuart Gulliver, Chief executive, HSBC
Mark Hutchinson, Managing director, Hutchinson Aerotech
Christian Salbaing, Deputy chairman, Hutchison Whampoa
Julian Smith, Director, I Am Enterprises Ltd
David Stokes, CEO, IBM
Dan Hydes, Managing director, Ignite Data Ltd Research
Rupert Pearce CEO, Inmarsat Tech
Ralf Speth KBE, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover
Mahmood Faiz, Director, James William Estate Agents
Jane Field, Owner/Founder, Jonny’s Sister
Katharine Pooley, Chief executive and owner, Katharine Pooley Interior design
Kelly Hoppen MBE, Director, Kelly Hoppen Interiors
Martin Dare-Edwards, Chief executive officer, Ketonex Ltd
Veronique Laury CEO, Kingfisher
Neil Clifford, Chief executive, Kurt Geiger
Ian Walker, Director, Laundry Republic Ltd
Sir Julian Horn-Smith Advisory Board Member, Letter One Technology
Patrick O’Sullivan Chairman of ERS Ltd, Lloyd’s of London
John Nelson Chairman, Lloyd’s of London
Christopher Parker Managing director, London and Scottish International Ltd
Xavier Rolet KBE CEO, London Stock Exchange
Debbie Wosskow, Chief executive officer, Love Home Swap Ltd
Tim Allen, Managing Director, M J Allen Group Ltd
Jess Burley, Global CEO, M/ Six
Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace Group Infrastructure
Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive, Manchester Airports Group;
Martin Lamb, Director, Maple Consulting Ltd
Christopher Peer Managing Director, Maritime House Limited
Marc Bolland* CEO, Marks and Spencer
Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman, Mastercard
Ron Dennis CBE, CEO and Chairman, McLaren Technology Group
Clare Hornby, Founder and Creative Director, ME+EM
Karen Blackett OBE, Chairwoman, MediaCom
Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman, Meggitt Engineering
Doug Dooley, Managing Director, MICC & TRM Ltd
Byron Dixon, Chief Executive Officer, Micro-Fresh International
Kanya King MBE, CEO and Founder, MOBO Organisations Ltd
Rana Harvey, Managing Director, Monster Group (UK) Ltd
Fraser Smeaton, Chief Executive, Morphsuits
Alan Parker CBE, Chairman, Mothercare
Dean Finch, CEO, National Express Group
Steve Holliday, CEO, National Grid Utilities
Mary Nelson, Director, Nelson Browne Management Ltd
Sam Laidlaw, Chairman, Neptune Oil and Gas
Miisa Mink, Chairperson, Nordic Bakery Limited
Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive, North East Finance Ltd
Geeta Sidhu-Robb, CEO and Founder, Nosh Detox
Stuart Rose, Chairman, Ocado Group
Tim Steiner, CEO, Ocado Group
Christina Richardson,CMO, Openr
Charlie Thuillier, Managing Director, Oppo Brothers Limited
Pia Marocco, Managing Director, Osborne & Partners
Luke Brynley-Jones, Managing Director, Our Social Times Ltd
Paul Simpson, Director, Paul Simpson Ltd
John Fallon, CEO, Pearson Publishing
Ayman Asfari, CEO, Petrofac
Graham Spencer, Executive Director, Plants for Europe Ltd
Scott Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, Precept (UK) Ltd
Mike Wells, Group Chief Executive, Prudential plc
Steve Wadey, CEO QinetiQ
Mary Quicke, Managing Director, Quickes Traditional Ltd
Raman Sehgal, Director, Ramarketing & PR Ltd
Gail Rebuck DBE, Chairman, Random House UK
Graham Chipchase, Chief Executive, Rexam
Sir Peter Rigby, CEO & Chairman, Rigby Group PLC
Jan du Plessis, Chairman, Rio Tinto Group
Warren East CBE, CEO, Rolls Royce
Ben Van Beurden CEO, Royal Dutch Shell
Stephen Hester CEO, RSA Insurance Financial Services
Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive, Ryanair
Alan Clark, CEO, SABMiller
Alison Edgar, Managing Director, Sales Coaching Solutions Ltd
Shriti Vadera, Chair, Santander UK
Nathan Bostock, CEO, Santander UK
Caroline Cole, Director, Savoir Faire Accounting Ltd
Tori Chilcott Co-Founder, ScootaTravel
Rupert Soames OBE, CEO, SERCO Infrastructure
Juergen Maier, UK CEO, Siemens Manufacturing
Mark Lyndon, Director, Signature Marketing Limited
Simon Barrow, Director, Simon Barrow Associates
Melanie Goldsmith, Director, Smith & Sinclair Ltd
Jonathan Grubin, Chief Executive Officer,SoPost Ltd
Doug Squires, Director, Squires Gear and Engineering Limited
Bill Winters, CEO, Standard Chartered
Ian Barnett, Director, Surfanic International Ltd
Dido Harding, Chief Executive, TalkTalk
Dr Heather McGregor CBE, CEO, Taylor Bennett
Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive, Telefonica O2 UK
Sara Bell CEO, Tempus Energy
Billy Walker, Managing Director, The Benriach Distillery Company Ltd
Daniel Williams, Managing Director, The Bottle Shop (Penarth) Ltd
Jay Risbridger, Director, The Green Stationery Company Ltd
Sally Greene OBE, Chief Executive, The Old Vic
Margo Marrone, Co-Founder,The Organic Pharmacy
Rory Curnock Cook, Director, The Profs Tuition Ltd
Lady Ruth Rogers MBE, Owner, The River Café
Niamh Barker, Managing Director, The Travelwrap Company Ltd,
John Harries, Proprietor, Three Horseshoes Inn
Stephen Weil, Managing DirectorTI Partners
Lloyd Dorfman, President, Travelex
Bernardo Ivo Cruz, Global Managing Partner, True Bridge Consultancy
Peter Long, Supervisory Board Member & former Chief Executive, TUI Travel
Olivier Dochez, Chief Executive Officer, Two Guys From Brussels
Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive, Ultra Electronics Holdings
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
Lucian Grainge CBE, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group
Luis Arriaga, Managing Director, UPS UK Ltd
Kate Unsworth, Founder and CEO,Vinaya
Peter Berry, Managing Partner, VIP Labels
Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive, Virgin Media
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO, Virgin Money
Ian Taylor, CEO and President, Vitol Energy
Vittorio Colao, CEO Vodafone
Sir Peter Kendall, Director, W J Kendall Contracting Limited
Stefano Pessina, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance
Kasim Ali, Director, Waterloo Tea Limited
Keith Cochrane, Chief Executive, Weir Group,Engineering
Sir Terence Matthews, Chairman,Wesley Clover
Karren Brady, Vice-Chairman, West Ham FC
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP; Creative Industries
Dr Uwe Kruger, Chief Executive,WS Atkins
Rich Clothier, Managing Director, Wyke Farms


1 thought on “Business leaders warn on Brexit threat to jobs and economy”

  1. Really says:

    It’s not would put jobs at risk. It’s COULD put jobs at risk. CEO’s only have one vote, they can vote in, the staff at these company’s will vote OUT!

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