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JCB quits membership of the CBI following differences of opinion on Brexit

Oliver Gill
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JCB has lifted itself out of the CBI (Source: Getty)

Digger giant JCB has quit the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) owing to frustration at the industry body's anti-Brexit position.

JCB chairman Anthony Bamford was vocal in his support of Britain's exit from the EU and wrote to all 6,500 employees of the Rocester-based company, telling them that the UK had "little to fear" from a Brexit vote.

Read more: JCB to axe 400 jobs as global slowdown leaves it in a hole

However, on the run-up to the 23 June vote, the CBI warned that a decision to leave the EU could have serious and significant consequences for the UK. After initial reports by Sky News, a CBI spokesperson confirmed to City A.M. that the JCB's departure was as a result of the CBI's anti-Brexit stance.

"It's always a shame to see any member leave the CBI, but we recognise that businesses have competing priorities and we respect that," said the CBI spokesperson.

Read more: Construction slowdown puts 400 JCB jobs at risk

Bamford, who donated £100,000 to the Vote Leave campaign, said that although he had voted for joining the Common Market in 1975, he was against political union and handing over sovereignty to the EU.

"I certainly did not expect unaccountable leaders in Brussels to govern over us," he said.

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