FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Forum is urging for an informed debate on Britain's EU membership that will allow their members and other employers to make their choice based on the best evidence available.
The organisation, which represents thousands of employers, will not take a side on this issue but will be looking to press both sides about the plausibility of their vision for the UK.
Following discussions with members over the last few months, Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum wrote in a note to members: “The feedback suggests that opinions are divided, everyone has their own opinion and they have a vote by which to express that opinion, myself included, so with that in mind I feel it would be inappropriate for the Forum to take a side in this debate. The whole point of a referendum is that the power is put in the hands of individual people to make up their minds about the question, based on the arguments put forward by the respective campaigns - rather than the Forum seeking to direct how they should vote, so we will not be campaigning for either side of the argument.”
The Forum will be looking for both sides to clarify the issues so that employers and employees can vote for the option they feel will bring long term prosperity to the nation. Forum members reported that the previous regime did not do well representing business interests in Europe with 1 in 5 reporting that the coalition was weak on this issue and that both sides needed to produce robust evidence of how the UK will benefit as a result of a decision to stay in or to leave.
“As our members and other SME employers will create 70% of jobs over the next decade, it is important that they are heard in this debate for the long term prosperity of the economy. But it needs to be an informed debate. That is why the Forum will be writing to all key stakeholders to understand their vision of the relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe, inviting members to provide feedback to our policy team and undertaking a number of twitter debates on the subject,” stated Ian Cass.
The Forum has sought a Plan B for the economy if there is a change in EU membership in their Budget submission to help the public decide.
“All taxpayers should understand that leaving the EU will mean a change in the focus of spending, this may mean more money is available but also there will be additional commitments over the next few years.” concluded Ian Cass
Notes to Editors
Note from Ian Cass on the EU debated can be found at: https://www.fpb.org/press/february-2016/national-referendum-uk%E2%80%99s-continued-membership-european-union. The Forum of Private Business has issued also issued a blog for members on this issue which can be found at: https://www.fpb.org/blog/eu-debate . FPB will be running a live twitter debate at noon on Wednesday 9th March #ForumEUdebate
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