EU referendum: the business leaders that are Leave or Remain

EU referendum: the business leaders that are Leave or Remain

With lies, damned lies and statistics obfuscating the EU referendum debate, business leaders have taken it upon themselves to wade into the argument.

Lloyd’s of London’s CEO Inga Beale told CNBC that a Brexit is one of the three biggest risks to the global economy.

She explained why she’s in the remain camp: “Because we are part of a European market, we've actually got access to one of the world's largest insurance markets, [which, with] 27 countries together, is one of the world's largest insurance markets.

"With those passporting rights - the ability to trade all of the other countries in Europe - that gives us a huge advantage.

“[In the event of a Brexit] it would lead to years before we could negotiate satisfactory arrangements to replace what we now have, not only with the European Union, but with the 50 or so countries with which the European Union currently has trade deals.”

The Unilever boss, and his three predecessors, also agree with Beale. They sent a letter to their 10,000 UK employees and pensioners on Thursday saying: “We hope that… the UK will choose to remain and thereby continue to play a central role in Unilever's long-term growth and prosperity.”

On the other side, 300 business leaders – including the Co-Founder of Reebok, the former CEO of HSBC Group and the Managing Director of Goldman Sachs - signed a letter to the Telegraph detailing why Britain’s competitiveness is undermined by a failing EU.

“It is business – not government – which generates wealth for the Treasury and jobs for our communities. Outside the EU, British business will be free to grow faster, expand into new markets and create more jobs. It’s time to vote leave and take back control”, it said.

JD Wetherspoon's Founder and Chairman, Tim Martin (who was also a signature on the above letter), is currently touring the country explaining to customers why he believes the UK would be better off out of the EU.

Some find it easier to remain neutral with Ladbrokes, Persimmon, InterContinental Hotels, Meggitt and Provident Financial all sitting on the fence.

However, some appear to be conflicted. Last month a video emerged of Ryanair’s pro-Brussels CEO likening the European Union to the evil empire from Star Wars. To find out more, click here

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