With only two weeks to go until the EU referendum, we collate the opinions of some of the UK’s leading CEOs ahead of the big vote
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
“I support and lead the International Advisory Board of BritishAmerican Business (BAB), which includes more than 100 Chairman and CEOs of the world’s largest companies.
“BAB recently published the results of a survey of members, who are overwhelmingly in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union, and believe that a Brexit would weaken the UK’s attractiveness to foreign investors.
“The message from BAB members is clear. They value access to the EU Single Market. One in 10 would consider relocating, were the UK to exit. A UK outside the EU would have a negative or strongly negative impact on future investments or business prospects in the UK.”
John Mills, Chairman and Director of JML
“It is easy to talk down the economic resilience and resourcefulness of the UK and this is clearly what is happening by those on the Remain side as the referendum draws close.
“People everywhere, including the UK, however, respond to incentives and, provided we get them right, there is no reason to believe that we cannot thrive outside the EU.
“There are about 160 countries in the world outside the EU and 28 who are inside. Many of those outside are doing much better than the EU average.”
James Caan CBE, serial entrepreneur and former Dragon
“For me, the answer is simple. We remain. We’ve seen a record number of jobs created as a part of Europe, investment in the UK is booming, the EU provides easy access to 1/3 of the world’s markets by value and gives us preferential market access to over 50 countries outside of the EU with the fastest growing economies in the world.
“Not to mention our ability to easily export without the need for extensive paperwork and, due to freedom of people, the opportunity to work, study or live across Europe whenever we like.”
Ronan Dunne, CEO, Telefonica UK
“The truth is, Britain in Europe is a more attractive investment opportunity for European and international businesses.
“It is undeniable that being part of the European family promises far greater prosperity for UK industry.
“That said, I’m not naive enough to think everything is working as it should, and I certainly don’t think it’s for businesses to tell people how to vote.”
For more information about how the result of the EU referendum could affect your business, visit Grant Thornton UK’s dedicated resource hub.