EU Referendum: North West business leaders lay out case for ‘Bremain’ vote
The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) has laid out an argument for Britain to remain part of the European Union in the upcoming referendum.
In a statement released today (April 28) the NWBLT, a network of business leaders from across the region, weighed in on the EU membership debate by highlighting the ways in which it believes a ‘Brexit’ vote could impact Britain’s economy.
The organisation said that the proportion of North West jobs reliant on European trade links is the highest out of any region in the North or Midlands.
The statement read: “In particular, our country’s future prosperity depends upon a flourishing manufacturing base in the North West which is able to continue competing and trading on a global stage.”
The NWBLT also claims that, as EU membership gives Britain “significant negotiating power” when negotiating open markets and tariffs with countries outside Europe, an exit vote would see Britain having to re-negotiate agreements with the US, Europe and the rest of the world.
Further, the organisation said that the North West remains “a major recipient” of cash from the EU Structural Funds, with the current 2014/20 programme worth around £800m to the region’s five Local Enterprise Partnerships.
The statement continued: “NWBLT recognises that the EU referendum is a vital part of the UK’s democratic processes and that it is for each individual to vote as they see fit.
“It does however believe that as an organisation representing a substantial number of significant employers in the North West, NWBLT has a responsibility to state the facts in relation to the likely impact of the referendum on this region from an economic and employment viewpoint.”
Earlier this week, a report published by professional services firm Deloitte found that overseas investment in the North West dipped during Q1 2016, due to uncertainty over Britain’s future in the EU.
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