EU referendum: Former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer and Conservative peer Lord Rose to lead pro-EU campaign

James Nickerson
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Rose's appointment will help ally concerns that the In campaign is wrapped in a Westminster bubble (Source: Getty)

Former chief executive of Marks & Spencer Lord Stuart Rose is to lead a campaign for the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union.

The Conservative peer and businessman has been announced as chairman of an "In" campaign group, warning that leaving the union would be a "leap into the unknown".

Read more: Vote Leave group launches campaign for Britain's exit from the European Union

Rose, who led Marks and Spencer between 2004 and 2010, will be officially announced as leader of an "In" campaign on Monday. In a statement, Rose said he wanted voters to make a “hard-headed, practical calculation in the coming referendum on what is best for the British people”.

Rose added:

I believe that Britain is stronger in Europe. The choice in the coming referendum is between remaining stronger, safer and better-off inside Europe, or taking a leap into the unknown, risking our prosperity, threatening our safety, and diminishing our influence in the world.”

Leading figures will also include Lord Mandelson and Danny Alexander.

Pro-Out campaign Vote Leave unveiled their campaign yesterday, with cross party support from Conservatives for Britain, Labour Leave and non-political Business for Britain. Three of the most prominent donors in the UK joined, including founder of CMC Markets and Tory donor Peter Cruddas, Labour donor John Mills and Ukip donor Stuart Wheeler.

Read more: The time for markets to start preparing is now

Cameron has promised an In/Out referendum before the end of 2017, allowing him time to renegotiate the terms of the UK's membership. However, many have said that his ambitions to change the treaty will not be realised.

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