Top European firms warn on Brexit

2016-05-31 22:36
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron makes a joint appearance for the Remain campaign with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, in London. (Yui Mok, AP)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron makes a joint appearance for the Remain campaign with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, in London. (Yui Mok, AP)

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Paris - The leaders of 50 of Europe's mightiest companies, from Shell and BP to Heineken and BMW, warned on Tuesday that Britain will be weaker if its people vote to break away from the European Union.

Weeks away from the June 23 referendum in Britain, the corporate chiefs said the continent, already challenged by terrorism and migration, now faced a new "fork in the road.

"An unravelling of the single market and the rules governing 28 countries would reduce, not boost our prosperity," said the members of the European Round Table of Industrialists in a joint statement.

A united Europe benefits investment and job creation, they said.

"While respecting the decision of the people in the United Kingdom, we believe that a Europe without the UK would be weaker, just as the UK itself would be weaker outside Europe."

Urgent need

The Europe Union is the world's largest economy, accounting for 16% of world trade, which gives it "tremendous bargaining power" in striking trade deals, the company chiefs said.

Over the past 60 years, people and companies had benefited from greater wealth, security and quality of life because of the stronger ties between member states, they said.

The European Union must be improved, however the business chiefs said, stressing an urgent need to co-operate across borders on security against terrorism and to address the refugee crisis.

They pressed, too, for an integrated EU energy market, better education and skills training and the development of digital technology and innovation across the bloc.

Read more on:    bp  |  shell  |  heineken  |  eu  |  bmw  |  france  |  brexit  |  europe

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