Adnams chief executive Andy Wood joined 29 other bosses in contributing to a new CBI report urging British voters to back continued membership of a reformed EU.
“We are making British beer popular across Europe, selling easily through the EU single market to our largest export market, Sweden, meaning we can continue to grow our 420 strong workforce back home,” said Wood.
Chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association Brigid Simmonds highlighted the business benefits of the EU’s trans Atlantic trade deal for British firms.
‘Once in a generation opportunity’
“A deal with the United States provides a once-in-a generation opportunity to level the playing field for small British brewers who have to pay 157% more tax than small US brewers,” said Simmonds.
“Tackling this inequality could be worth millions to the British beer industry and economy – creating jobs here at home.”
In the report, Choosing Our Future, published today (October 21) the CBI argued that most of its member organisations wanted to remain in a reformed EU. It set out both the benefits of EU membership – including access to a market of 500M consumers – and how it believed the EU must reform to work better for business.
Other key benefits of membership claimed for business included: more international investment, access to skills for businesses to grow and opening up a third of the world’s markets for trade. See a full list of claimed benefits below.
EU must work more effectively
CBI director-general John Cridland said the business benefits of full membership outweigh the disadvantages, but the EU must work more effectively.
“The Single Market has been the solid foundation of our economic success in recent decades, giving us direct access to eight times more consumers than in the UK alone and ensuring we can go toe-to-toe with larger economies on major trade deals, creating jobs and economic growth here in the UK,” said Cridland.
“While there are many benefits to EU membership, we should not be blind to the downsides and recognise the EU, like any big institution has its faults and needs to do better.
“The burden of regulation on smaller firms in particular still needs tackling, even if some progress is being made. And the UK must push for reform to make the whole of the EU more competitive in the global economy and deliver a Single Market fit for the 21st century.”
The CBI case for EU membership and reform
EU membership business benefits
• More customers for business, through the market of 500 million consumers, supporting more jobs back home
• One set of rules for British businesses to work by, not 28 different sets
• More international investment
• Access to skills for businesses to grow
• Opening up a third of the world’s markets for trade
• Lower prices and more choice for customers
EU reforms needed
• Doing more to open up global markets
• Reducing and simplifying rules so that firms can grow
• Ensuring that non-Eurozone countries remain protected from further integration