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Cridland demands changes

CBI boss calls for reformed EU to focus on ‘what it does best’

John Cridland freeCBI Director-General, John Cridland today said the employers’ group wants to see “ambitious, achievable reform” of the European Union that would enable it to do what it does best.

Speaking to Scottish business leaders he reinforced the organisation’s support for continued membership of the EU but said this support was not unconditional. Business leaders wanted it to focus more on improving trade and less on tying them up in red tape.

“The fundamental question facing British businesses is not whether the UK could survive outside the EU, but which potential future for our country offers the best chance of prosperity,” he said.

“Whilst we don’t claim that there is a uniform view on this issue, the majority of CBI members want us to stay in a reformed EU. In short – we want to see ambitious, achievable reform.

“We want to see the EU doing more of what it does well – like updating the Single Market and signing free trade agreements with the rest of the world – and less lifestyle regulation such as employment regulation.”

Speaking at the CBI Scotland annual lunch in Edinburgh, Mr Cridland once again urged Scotland to remain part of the UK, not least because of the strong trade links that exist.

“Scotland’s biggest export partner is the rest of the UK. And boosting growth in all nations of the UK starts by making the most of the core, unwavering strengths of our Union.

“Common business taxes, a single regime for financial regulation, a single energy market in Great Britain and a cross-border set of employment law. These are the ‘crown jewels’ of our United ‘economic’ Kingdom – keeping complexity to a minimum, acting as a magnet for investment and driving growth in the process.

“But devolution can also be an opportunity to get all regions and nations firing on all cylinders when it comes to growth. Here in Scotland, apprenticeships is one area where devolution has paid dividends.

“At the CBI, we’ve been clear that where promises of further devolution have already been made – like the Scotland Bill – these should be delivered to give business the certainty it needs. But looking forward, we must ensure that any further devolution of power is driven by economic evidence.”



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