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Business leaders are urged to make case for EU reform


The EU has extended economic sanctions against Russia

The EU has extended economic sanctions against Russia

The EU has extended economic sanctions against Russia

Business leaders were last night urged to support the Government's drive to renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid told a CBI dinner that the business group should make the case for reform to other businesses in Europe, as the Government makes the case to other European governments.

He said that "the best friends" should be straight with each other, arguing that the changes sought by the Prime Minister are in the interests of British business and British workers.

He said: "We're negotiating a better deal for Britain in Europe. I know this is something the CBI wants to see. You have never been shy about highlighting the ways in which the EU hampers and undermines British business. I heard that the CBI thinks the UK should remain in the European Union no matter what. That the people of Britain should vote to stay in regardless of whether or not the Prime Minister wins the concessions that British business so badly needs.

"Of course you're entirely free to come to that conclusion. But does it really make sense to say, so early in the process, that the rules of this club need to change, but don't worry - we'll always be members no matter what.

"You're some of Britain's most respected, most successful business leaders. You know how negotiation works."

He added: "You wouldn't sit down at the start of a merger or acquisition and, like a poker player showing his hand to the table, announce exactly what terms you were prepared to accept. It doesn't work in the boardroom and it won't work in Brussels."