City grandees launch push for EU referendum

LEADING City figures will today launch their campaign for a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the EU, arguing action is needed to ensure London’s financial sector is not undermined by Brussels.

As City A.M. revealed on Monday, leading businessmen who want Britain to repatriate powers from Europe have set up their own campaign after becoming exasperated with the pro-EU stance adopted by industry trade bodies such as the CBI.

“The pro-European lobby, apparently speaking on behalf of British business as a whole, has argued in generalities,” eleven of them write in a letter published today.

“We believe that members of the public should be given specific figures, not platitudes, so that they can make an informed decision about whether Britain should remain in the EU.”

Signatories include turnaround specialist Jon Moulton, founder of Better Capital; Lord Flight, the chairman of Metrobank; and Robert Hiscox, who built up the eponymous insurer.

Other City grandees who back the letter include Lord Vinson, John Barkshire, Adam Fleming, Daniel Hodson, David Reid Scott, John Robins and Stanislas Yassukovich.

The campaign is being co-ordinated by the pro-referendum organisation the People’s Pledge.

Tomorrow morning David Cameron will deliver a long-awaited speech setting out his vision for Britain’s relationship with the EU. The Prime Minister is expected to reject complete withdrawal from the organisation in favour of a renegotiated relationship, with the final package put to the UK electorate in a referendum.

Other EU leaders Britain stays. Finland’s Prime Minister yesterday said that the EU without Britain would be like “fish without chips”