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Staying within EU is crucial for growth of our economy

By Nigel Smyth

In November 2013, we launched Our Global Future: the business vision for a reformed EU. The report is clear as to what one of the key foundations of UK's continued success will continue to be - membership of a reformed EU.

Ongoing conversations with local companies suggest an even higher percentage would vote to remain within the EU in NI - this is not surprising.

As the only region of the UK with a land border with another EU Member State, we, and therefore our medium to long-term economic prospects, are particularly susceptible to the discussion now being widely had at national level as to the UK's continued membership of the EU.

With access to markets a very high priority for foreign direct investment, we believe remaining within a reformed EU will be a key determinant for potential investors in Northern Ireland - few investors come to Northern Ireland for our market of 1.8m citizens, but in order to access the UK and wider EU markets.

The CBI estimates that the EU is actually worth approximately £3,000 to every Northern Ireland household per annum.

That is not to say that the EU is not without its faults - however, we are clear that remaining in a reformed EU is fundamental to our economic future.

Nigel Smyth is Northern Ireland director of the CBI

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