Leading business voices call for a People’s Vote - People's Vote

Leading business voices call for a People’s Vote

Dozens of leading business and industry figures including the former Chairman of Marks and Spencer Lord Myners, Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and Terra Firma Vice Chair Justin King have today signed a joint letter calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit. It comes ahead of the launch later this week of a new campaign group, Business for a People’s Vote.

The letter, signed by more than 70 business figures, warns that the proposals being discussed by the Government and the European Commission are not as good as the current deal Britain has inside the European Union.

They say that uncertainty over the past two years has already led to a slump in investment, which makes Britain poorer.

Just last week manufacturing PMI fell to its lowest level since July 2016 – well below forecasts. The decline in new orders and employment in the manufacturing sector was linked to companies taking a defensive position and low business optimism related to Brexit uncertainty.

Business for a People’s Vote will be launched on Thursday with a panel discussion of business leaders who will talk through why they think that a ‘blindfold Brexit’ or a destructive 'Hard brexit' will be bad for business and jobs and why a People's Vote is the best option.

Calling for Parliament to hand back control of the Brexit process to the public through a People’s Vote, the letter states:

“We are now facing either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit. Both these options will further depress investment. They will be bad for business and bad for working people. Given that neither was on the ballot in 2016, we believe the ultimate choice should be handed back to the public with a People’s Vote.”

Lord Myners said:

“Any deal will be made from a position of weakness where we have surrendered our principal negotiating cards. It will be half-formed, casting a long shadow over business confidence, damaging investment and hurting both enterprises and their employees for years to come.”


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Editor’s Notes

1. The full text of the letter is below:

The business community was promised that, if the country voted to leave, there would continue to be frictionless trade with the EU and the certainty about future relations that we need to invest for the long term.

Despite the Prime Minister's best efforts, the proposals being discussed by the Government and the European Commission fall far short of this, and they are not nearly as good as the current deal we have inside the EU. The uncertainty over the past two years has already led to a slump in investment, which will make our country poorer.

We are now facing either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit. Both these options will further depress investment. They will be bad for business and bad for working people. Given that neither was on the ballot in 2016, we believe the ultimate choice should be handed back to the public with a People’s Vote.

Signed (in a personal capacity):

Rosa

Ashby

Owner

Rosa's Flowers

Dragos

Avramescu

Director

Beemus Ltd

Deepak

Bahl

Director

Dulari Automotive

Sir David

Bell

Former Director

Pearson

Melvin

Benn

Managing Director

Festival Republic

Brian

Bickell

Chief Executive

Shaftesbury

Lord Karan

Bilimoria

Founder

Cobra Beer

Sir Mark

Boleat

Former Policy Chairman

City of London Corporation

Nick

Button-Brown

Chair

Outright Games

Mark

Campanale

Director

Impact Investment Consultants Ltd

Sir William

Castell

Former Chairman

Wellcome Trust

Alex

Chesterman

Founder

Zoopla

Charly

Cox

Director

Charly Cox Coaching

Zachary

D'Arcy Willett

Director

H2O Creative

James

Daunt

Managing Director

Daunt

Lord Mervyn

Davies

Chair

Corsair Capital

Guy

de Selliers

HCF International Advisers Ltd

 

John

Dembitz

Chairman

Emac Ltd. and Winmark Global

Dinesh

Dhamijja

Founder

ebookers.com

Andrew

Dixon

 

ARC InterCapital

Jonathan

Dul

Managing Director

MiRiCal Emblems

Niall

FitzGerald

Chairman

Leverhulme Trust

Craig

Fletcher

CEO

Wicked Sick

James

Garratt

Managing Director

Enviresearch

Des

Gunewardena

Chairman and CEO

D & D

Susan

Hartman

Director

Metaphysis

Chris

Hatcher

Director 

Old Blue

Ron Kalifa

Kalifa

Vice Chairman

WorldPay

William

Kendall

Chair

Nemadi Advisors

Melinda

Kenneway

CEO

Kudos

Oli

Khan

Director General

Bangladesh Caterers Association

Justin

King

Vice-Chair

Terra Firma

John

Knights

Director

LeaderShape Global

Baroness Martha

Lane Fox

Co-founder

Last Minute.Com

Jeremy

Leggett

Founding Director

Solar Century

Ian

Livingstone

Non-Exec Director

Sumo Group PLC

Charlie

Marshall

Founder

Loaf

Julian

Metcalfe

Founder

Itsu

Tom

Meyerratken

Managing Director

CKI Tools

Caroline

Miller

Managing Director

Indigo Pearl

Amanda

Molloy

Director

The Inspirational Coach Ltd

David

Morrison

Founder and Chief Executive

Prospect Investment Management

Eric and Rebecca

Murphy

Director

BabelQuest

Lord Paul

Myners

Former Chairman

Marks & Spencer

John

Neill

Chairman

Unipart

John

Nelson

Former Chairman

Lloyd’s of London

Malcolm

Newdick

Director

Riverbank IT Management

Richard

Nourse

Managing Partner

Greencoat Capital

Eddie

O'Connor

Chairman

Mainstream Renewable Power

Patrick

O'Sullivan

Chairman

ERS Syndicate 218 at Lloyds of London

Alpesh

Patel

CEO

Praefinium Partners

Andy

Payne

Founder

AppyNation

Stephen

Peel

Founder

Novalpina Capital

Charles

Perry

Founder

SecondNature

Mark

Petterson

Founder and director

Warwick Energy Ltd.

Deborah and Darren

Price

Managing Directors

British Boxers

Sir Mike

Rake

Director

Worldpay

Richard

Reed

Founder & CEO

Innocent Drinks

Sir Simon

Robertson

Former Chairman

Rolls-Royce

Gary

Scott

Managing Director

Scott Logic

Mark

Selby

co-founder

Co-founder, Wahaca

Geeta

Sidhu-Robb

Founder and CEO

Nosh Detox

Francesca

Smith

Managing Director

Bright Hygiene

Lorne

Somerville

Managing Partner

CVC Capital Partners

Anthony

Stratton

Director

Quantic

Martin

Taylor

Deputy CEO

Redwoods Technology

Michael

Tory

Partner

Ondra LLP

Solitaire

Townsend

co-founder

Futerra

Mark

Turpin

CEO

Yogscast

Andrew

Varga

Director

Seetru

Lord Rumi

Verjee

Founder

Rumi Foundation

Ian

Walker

Co-founder

Laundry Republic

Kenton

Ward

co-founder

Live IT

Diane

Wilkinson

Founder

Connecting to Excellence

Simon

Woodroffe

Founder

Yo Sushi