EU referendum: Brexit campaign group unveils list of 250 business backers as former BCC director general John Longworth takes up new role

William Turvill
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EU Referendum - Signage And Symbols
New backers for Vote Leave include former HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan and Roger Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics (Source: Getty)

Vote Leave has today unveiled a list of 250 business leaders backing its campaign for a Brexit.

The organisation also revealed John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), will chair its business council.

Read more: Poll finds growing support for a Brexit - but Remain retains lead

Meanwhile, a new YouGov poll commissioned by Vote Leave showed that 31 per cent of SMEs believe the EU makes it harder for them to employ people. This compared with 14 per cent who believe the EU makes it easier to do so.

The poll of 1,002 SMEs also found 32 per cent believe the EU hinders businesses like theirs, versus 25 per cent who say it helps.

Vote Leave signatories include former HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan, Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross, JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin and Roger Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics.

Read more: Former CIA chief gives boost to Brexit campaign

Longworth, who resigned from the BCC after being suspended for speaking out in favour of a Brexit, said: “This is the most important political debate of a generation. Business is divided on the issue and it is vital the full breadth of business opinion is heard.

“Many firms struggle with relentless interference from the EU and rules that are stacked in the favour of a select number of businesses.

“If we Vote Leave, liberated from the shackles of EU membership, jobs will be safer, Britain will be able to spend our money on our priorities and we can look forward to faster growth and greater prosperity in the future.”

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