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Why are so few big business leaders for remain?

23 February 2016

11:43 AM

23 February 2016

11:43 AM

How come so few big business leaders signed up to David Cameron’s letter in favour of remain?

(Credit: Nick Sutton)

(Credit: Nick Sutton)

As the Daily Mail reported this morning:

High street shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Next and banks such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland did not put their names to the letter published today. It had been suggested that bosses of 80 of the FTSE 100 firms would sign the pro-Brussels letter, but in fact only 36 have done so.

One would have thought big business leaders to be largely in favour of staying, since membership suits big best; it is not just that they are most likely to be involved in exports, and so fear the possible instability of Brexit, but that the system of lobbying built into the EU suits larger companies better than smaller ones. It’s one of many ways Brussels incentivises corruption.

What worries me, as an outer, is that we’re seeing a repeat of the Scottish referendum, where company bosses were scared to reveal their opinions for fear of economic boycotts or other social penalties, amid a general atmosphere of nastiness. Personally I’m against companies getting explicitly involved in political movements, largely because they tend to support gormlessly right-on causes that distract from their ruthless practices; but it’s healthy and right that business leaders give their opinion on an important issue without fear of economic or social reprisals. That shouldn’t affect our behavior any more than a friend or loved one being on the other side of this debate.

So long as everyone declares their interest, of course; in the next few months we’ll see a lot of people from education, the charity sector and the quangocracy speaking up in favour of membership who are, in fact, on the EU’s payroll. It’s another way that Brussels incentivises corruption.

Many big business figures certainly have a close relationship with Europe, such as the CBI, which is coincidentally very much in favour of our membership. It used to publish an annual poll showing business to be in favour of the euro, although that ship has sailed. And sunk.

Big business is also pro-Brussels because undermining nations helps the supply of cheap labour; here we get into secret lizard people territory with the likes of Peter Sutherland, the ex-Goldman Sachs leader who says the EU should actively destroy the ‘homogeneity’ of national states.

Speaking of lizards, David Icke has given his support to the out campaign, joining a dream team that already includes George Galloway, Katie Hopkins and Bernie Ecclestone, who says he wants Putin to rule Europe.

Thanks, Bernie. Surely if you believe the world to be secretly run by a cabal of lizards, it doesn’t matter whether it’s lizards in Brussels or Westminster ruling us? Or maybe I’m missing something.

Anyway, with these national treasures on board, who cares what business leaders say?

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