We read from the CBI conference that a few large companies and the CBI leadership are against an EU referendum. They think it could create uncertainties and make life more difficult for big business.
The opposite is the truth.
It would be interesting to know if these large companies who express this view have polled their UK shareholders, UK employees and UK customers. If they did they would very likely find that a majority of them want a referendum just like the majority of the public at large. A large majority of smaller and medium sized businesses want a renegotiation and a referendum on the results, as other business organisations have pointed out.
The CBI needs to be asked why it thinks our current membership of the EU is helpful or important to business. It is after all our EU membership that lies behind the very dear energy imposed on European business. It is the Euro many of these businesses recommended which has helped create poor demand and mass unemployment on the continent. It is some of the excessive EU regulation which prices European business out of work, making it less competitive worldwide.
Many countries in the world trade and succeed economically without belonging to the EU. The UK would do better without the high budget contributions, the dear energy and some of the regulations that the EU imposes. The rest of us can see that. Just as some big businesses changed their view on the Exchange Rate Mechanism and the Euro which they got spectacularly wrong in the past, so they will have to change their view on our current EU membership as they start to see the true burdens it imposes. They should not seek to undermine the UK negotiating position. If we do not succeed in negotiating a good deal then the people will vote for Out.