Belfast Telegraph

Fears over EU future 'unhelpful' to firms

By Alan Jones

Uncertainty over the UK's position in Europe is being used against companies in this country by its competitors, a business leader has warned.

Nigel Stein, chief executive of engineering giant GKN, spoke of the importance of the European Union to British industry.

He told the national conference of the EEF manufacturers organisation: "The prospect of the UK talking itself into an exit would be deeply harmful to our industry.

"Much of the output from our car plants goes to the EU. Competition for investment is intense.

"Uncertainty over the UK's position in Europe is being used against us by our competitors.

"If we don't like some aspects of the EU, let us try to change them from within – and not in a British, gold-plated way."

Mr Stein said an independent Scotland would not make any difference to GKN, although he warned that any uncertainty was bad for businesses.

He also told the London conference that the government was not helping industry by constantly bringing out new policies and reports, which "diverted" resources.

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