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Heads of Leading British Companies Warn of the Consequences of Leaving the EU - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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British Prime Minister David Cameron at the headquarters of British company 02 in London yesterday (EPA)

British Prime Minister David Cameron at the headquarters of British company 02 in London yesterday (EPA)

The British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday began his second round of trying to persuade the British people to remain in the European Union.

The heads of leading British companies yesterday joined the campaign “to stay in the European Union” and urged people to vote to keep the country in the EU. They warned that leaving the EU would affect jobs and the national economy. 198 senior officials at giant corporations including the chairman of BAE Systems Roger Carr, BP chief executive Bob Dudley, the chairman and chief executive officer of McLaren Ron Dennis signed an open letter supporting membership of the European Union. The letter was published on The Times website and showed their support for the agreement that was reached by the prime minister with EU leaders in Brussels last Saturday.

The director of media relations at Barclays Will Bowden said that “On balance we think it is in the interests of our customers and clients for the UK to remain in the EU. We have modest interests domestically on the continent, but provide significant services to European companies from London. More importantly, we are heavily reliant on a successful UK domestic and international economy and feel this is enhanced through the UK’s membership.”

On the other hand, the spokesperson for Marks and Spencer Emily Dimmock said “We believe that this is a decision for the people of Britain to make. Like every other business, we will continue to evaluate the issue with a focus on the economic consequences.”

The open letter revealed that “businesses need unrestricted access to the European market of more than 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs”. The companies that signed the letter employ 1.2 million people and believe that leaving the European Union will thwart investment, threaten jobs and expose the economy to danger.