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London bus firm chief calls for Leave vote

Published 22/04/2016

The firm makes the London Routemaster
The firm makes the London Routemaster

The maker of London's red buses has called for a Leave vote on EU membership.

William Wright claimed the costs of being in the union had grown while the benefits had fallen.

He founded the Wrightbus manufacturer in Ballymena in Co Antrim, which is making almost 1,000 of the distinctive double-decker Routemasters and has exported to international markets including Singapore and Hong Kong.

Dr Wright said: "It is my opinion that the best future for the UK and Northern Ireland is by releasing ourselves from the EU.

"We must look to all the world and not tie ourselves into the EU, where I believe costs have grown and benefits have fallen.

"I urge everyone in Northern Ireland to be diligent, to give this debate serious consideration and ultimately to vote Leave."

The veteran entrepreneur was unveiled as the co-chairman of the Leave campaign in Northern Ireland.

According to business organisation the CBI, a clear majority of its membership believe that it would be in the best interests of their business and the wider UK economy to remain inside the EU.

Dr Wright and his father founded Robert Wright and Son Coachworks Limited in 1946, and the firm has gone on to become one of the UK's leading bus manufacturers.

The Leave campaign said: "This successful entry was primarily due to his foresight and persistence in introducing new technologies."

Wrightbus has also made vehicles for Reading and Colchester and won a contract to provide hundreds of buses to the UK firm FirstGroup.

Transport for London (TfL), the public body that manages transport in the capital, has said the new Routemaster is the greenest diesel-electric hybrid bus in the world.

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