LORD Digby Jones, former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) rebuffed the group’s current stance on the EU yesterday, arguing that the UK should quit without huge reforms.
In an opinion piece for The Times, Jones said: “Staying in a reformed Europe has to be the right course, but should we stay in the current mess? Frankly, our nation just can’t afford to if we are to provide our grandchildren with a globally competitive economy worthy of the name.”
Though the CBI now argues for reforms to Britain’s EU membership, the organisation has not advocated leaving if attempts to reform the UK’s arrangement fail.
Jones added: “David Cameron will get minor adjustments here and there but he won’t get the sort of reform upon which our future membership should be conditional. If anyone, the CBI included, thinks that fundamental reform is on the EU agenda, they are deluding themselves.” Industrial subsidies, employment regulation and tariffs on developing countries were listed as some of the major issues.