The business view of the Neverendum

As the EU Neverendum moves on another day, David Cameron begins to look ever more desperate in this attempt to bully persuade the British people that we should stay in the Fourth Reich.

Yesterday saw the publication of an open letter in the Times – orchestrated by Downing Street before the date for the vote was even announced – showing the underoverwhelming support that the governments position commands from the UK business community. A week ago, Cameron was proclaiming that 80 of the FTSE100 companies would back him but by the weekend the expectations were being managed so that we only expected around 50. In the end it turned out to be a pathetic 36.

Interesting amongst those signatories was the lack of support from supermarkets – with only American owned Asda signing the letter – and the banking sector. Chinese owned HSBC signed but British owned Lloyd, Barclays and RBS declined.

Even more damaging for the Prime Minister’s set piece was the lack of support from his own panel of 20 business advisors. Six of them refused to sign the letter : Alison Brittain, chief executive of Whitbread; Jeff Fairburn, who runs the housebuilder Persimmon; Liv Garfield, the Severn Trent boss; Robert Noel, Land Securities’ chief executive; Steve Varley, the UK chairman of EY; and Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General.

Not exactly what I would call solid support for the Staying In campaign is it?

And here’s another interesting little factoid about those signatories :

Fifteen of the 36 FTSE firms whose bosses signed the letter received more than €120million – around £94million – in grants from the European Commission between 2007 and 2014;


6 responses to “The business view of the Neverendum

  1. Bernard from Bucks

    And….. some of those chief executives who did sign, say they did so in a personal capacity. Fair enough – one man, one vote.
    It doesn’t follow that the company will relocate abroad.

  2. Neverendum?
    I like that.

    Cobbled together from the comments facility of another blog:

    The imposition of European Law is the only legitimate reason to be wary of the continued suckling at the Eleemosynary Umbilicus that helps keep your foetid little Isle afloat. It appears the European Arrest Warrant makes mockery of your Bill of Rights. And in England and Wales, at least, it appears The Common Law is indeed superseded by imposition of the Roman/Code Napoleon fiat. This is a deliberate strike at your (supposed) fundamental liberties and must be resisted.

    The masses, however, will probably be swayed by the horrifying realization that cheap mobile phone charges and roaming data costs will be a thing of the past if the nation votes to leave the EU.

    To paraphrase a bespectacled Terrorist from the Revolted Colonies:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little bit of cheap mobile data, deserve neither Liberty nor phones.”

  3. The supermarkets are perfectly correct in their statement that it is a matter for the British people, not businesses.

  4. “……..Chinese owned HSBC signed……”

    The last time The Tutor looked at his ever so bloated stock portfolio, HSBC Holdings plc was, and to this very day still remains, a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

    The founder:

    Funny enough, the current World Headquarters address is,
    8 Canada Square,
    Canary Wharf,
    London, United Kingdom

    “……..Fifteen of the 36 FTSE firms whose bosses signed the letter received more than €120million – around £94million – in grants from the European Commission between 2007 and 2014;……….”

    Didn’t you remonstrate in your last post that the UK got nowt from its £10 Billion donation to the EU? You said, exactly, “The net payment to the EU is around £10,000,000,000 a year. We benefit from none of that.” Presumably of these fifteen FTSE firms some must be Brit owned and manned, Are they not to be included in the “We”?

    • ‘Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation’ – the clue’s in the name!

      ‘Net contribution’ = what we pay in less what we get back is £10billion

      And, of course, we only got our own money back…