EU referendum: Rolls-Royce tells UK staff to vote Remain

Caitlin Morrison
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The manufacturing firm employs 23,000 people in the UK (Source: Getty)

UK engineering firm Rolls-Royce has backed a Remain vote in next week's EU referendum, and said a vote to leave could be a boon to the company's US competitors.

The company's chief executive, Warren East, warned staff that Brexit could result in decisions being put on hold. These decisions include the questions of whether to invest in a new aero-engine testing facility at Rolls-Royce's Derby plant, East told the BBC this morning.

In a letter to the group's 23,000 staff in Britain, East said: "We have taken the public position that as a company Rolls-Royce believes our customers, suppliers and employees benefit from the UK's membership of the European Union and that it is in the company's interests to remain a member."

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He added: "Uncertainty created by Brexit puts a lot of those decisions on hold and that pause is something that our US competitors don't have to cope with."

East also said that, regardless of the outcome of the referendum, Rolls-Royce would remain committed to the UK.

Berkeley Group boss Tony Pidgley has also backed a Remain vote this morning. He said: "The outcome of next week's referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union is significant for the UK's housebuilding and property sector. Berkeley supports a vote to remain in the EU."

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