Belfast Telegraph

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Manufacturing body urges firms to back staying in EU

By Ravender Sembhy

Manufacturers have been asked to throw their weight behind the UK's membership of the EU by signing an open letter warning of job losses in a Brexit.

Companies across the UK have been asked by manufacturers' organisation EEF to be signatories to the message.

The letter, by EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler, reads: "Many manufacturers fear Britain would be economically weaker if there is a vote to leave the EU.

"We could face years of uncertainty and - as most economic assessments from the IMF to the Treasury point out - we would certainly lose jobs and contracts overseas."

EEF is particularly interested in getting small and medium-sized enterprises on board.

In February, an EEF survey showed 61% of its members wanted to stay in the EU, with just 5% backing leaving.

Nissan, which manufactures cars in Sunderland, has already voiced its support for remaining in the EU, joining Toyota and Whitbread.

The letter continues: "We are manufacturers who export - or are involved in supply chains which operate - across the EU. We generate wealth, create high-quality jobs, and export goods to Europe and across the world.

"Our connection to the vast market that is the EU has helped us to prosper and grow and it remains critical to our future plans to expand."

In April, hundreds of business leaders in the tech sector also wrote an open letter warning that Brexit would be "hugely damaging". It followed a similar message, signed by business leaders including WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell and BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, backing the campaign to remain in the EU.

On the other side of the debate, ex-HSBC boss Michael Geoghegan and CMC Markets founder Peter Cruddas signed a memo warning that Brussels posed a threat to Britain's financial services industry.

Belfast Telegraph

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