Eighty FTSE Firms Join Forces To Back The Euro Scaremongers No Matter What Deal Cameron Gets

Representatives of more than 80 firms listed in the FTSE-100 index of the UK's largest firms are expected to give their backing to the Remain campaign, regardless of whatever deal David Cameron (pictured) obtains

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  • More than 80 FTSE firms ready to sign a letter backing Britain to stay in EU
  • Major business leaders said to be in favour of backing Remain campaign
  • Preparing to make argument that people will be better off for staying in EU
  • British Gas and easyJet have already expressed desire to back campaign

A separate letter from major business leaders in favour of Britain staying in the EU is being prepared for release later in the referendum campaign, it emerged last night.

Representatives of more than 80 firms listed in the FTSE-100 index of the UK's largest firms are expected to give their backing to the Remain campaign, regardless of whatever deal David Cameron obtains.

A source close to the organisers of the letter told the Daily Telegraph: 'Businesses are overwhelmingly on side. We will have at least 80 of the FTSE 100.

Tough talks: The Prime Minister held several 'hard going' meetings with European Council president Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker and French president Francois Hollande before leaving this morning

'They will sign a letter. They will be a powerful voice. It will allow us to make the argument that people will be better off if we stay in the EU.'

Securing the support of Britain's largest companies would boost Mr Cameron's position as he attempts to sell his renegotiation package to British voters ahead of the referendum.

The economic risks of leaving the EU are expected to be one of the key arguments put forward by the Remain campaign.

A number of businesses have already made it clear that they will back the campaign to stay in the EU, including British Gas – which warned bills could go up if there was Brexit – and the budget airline easyJet.

The letter follows calls by business leaders from 21 European countries for Britain to remain in the EU to deliver 'prosperity for all'.

However, there are fears that Mr Cameron will face accusations of using 'scare tactics' by attempting to warn people that they will be less well off if they vote to leave the EU.

One eurosceptic minister told the Telegraph: 'It seems ridiculous to be touting for business support before the deal is even done.'

David Cameron and the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Summit in Brussels

Yesterday, the Prime Minister urged European leaders to give him a 'credible' deal to present to members of the public ahead of an EU referendum. He said he wanted to settle the issue 'for a generation'.

However, he was ambushed in Brussels with demands to further water down his EU referendum deal by agreeing not to introduce restrictions on the payment of child benefit to EU workers immediately. 

Warning Britain to 'take it or leave it', Eastern European leaders insisted curbs on handouts to foreign workers must be phased in gradually.

Downing Street insisted Mr Cameron was resisting the demands for a further cave-in. He said his aim now was to secure a package that would be 'credible' with the British people.

Representatives of more than 80 firms listed in the FTSE-100 of the UK's largest firms are to give their backing

The PM said: 'The question of Britain's place in Europe has been allowed to fester for too long and it is time to deal with it.

'If we can reach agreement here that is strong enough to persuade the British people to support UK membership of the EU we have the opportunity to settle this issue for a generation.

'It is an opportunity to move to a fundamentally different approach to our relationship with the EU – what some might call live and let live – reflecting that those states that wish to integrate further can do so while those of us that don't can be reassured that their interests will be protected.'

 

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