Writing in The Times, Portillo said he would vote “no” in Cameron’s referendum if it were to occur. “The euro is a disaster. It has created hardship, unemployment and division on a dangerous scale,” he wrote. His comment comes just days after former chancellor Lord Lawson called for Britain to leave the EU.
Portillo’s move came as research published yesterday by analysts at OpenEurope calculated that ending protectionism and slashing red tape across the EU could boost the economy by hundreds of billions of euros per year.
OpenEurope argues creating a single market in services across the whole EU, would lead to a gain of up to €228bn (£193bn) for the economy – 1.8 per cent of GDP.
“There are currently around 800 regulated professions across the EU – 25 per cent of which are regulated in only one member state – that create barriers to professionals seeking to provide services outside their own country,” said the report.