With predictable regularity, polls of business leaders get published which aim to scare the public into thinking that leaving the EU will come with severe consequences. The press and the BBC always get excited by every new poll that preaches the benefits of EU membership. This time around, CBI turn up to say EU membership leaves each household better off by £3,000. Interestingly, even the soft and gentle Eurosceptic think-tank Open Europe (which favours renegotiation) finds the CBI figures unconvincing.
According to Roger Helmer MEP, the CBI could only arrive at such a figure on the assumption that we will stop trading with Europe if we liberate ourselves from our vassalage to Brussels. That is obviously absurd, there is a trade deficit in our favour and a free trade agreement would be guaranteed when we vote to Get Britain Out of the EU.
He also adds:
“Let’s remember the CBI used to be one of the “authoritative voices” calling for Britain to join the Euro. They were wrong then. They’re wrong now.”
There are other polls that show a different picture, a recent one by Business for Britain of over a thousand businesses show that a strong majority favour an In/Out referendum and 46% believe red tape outweighs any benefits of EU membership. A majority of businesses also said they want the UK Government, not Brussels, to be in control of data protection and consumer rights (69%), health and safety regulation (74%) and environmental regulation (60%). Also, more than half want to see the government focus on the booming, newly industrialised countries like Brazil, India and China. Indeed, the future of British trade lies in those growing economies rather than the flatlining Eurozone.
When renowned economists like Tim Congdon estimate that we lose £6,000 per head due to our membership to the EU, the findings of the CBI should be treated with caution and scepticism: their figure is wrong by a very wide margin.
Ultimately, whether we leave the EU or not will be decided by the Great British Public, not the vested interests of big business or the cronies hired by the EU to bleat their empty threats. Least of all, a group that called for us to join the Euro does not deserve one iota of attention.
Deputy Campaign Manager