Saturday, 24 May 2014

Derbyshire business and the EU

A few days ago the Derby Telegraph conducted a straw poll on attitudes to the EU among Derbyshire employers.

In a straw poll conducted by the Derby Telegraph ahead of tomorrow's European elections, 73% felt that staying in would be better for the UK economy and jobs.

Primary reasons given for continued membership include ease of cross-border trade and a fear of being left out in the economic cold.

The usual message in other words. I'd expect these people to know what they are talking about, but the following comment makes me wonder if they really do.

But the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, representing 3,800 members and 3,000 affiliates, wants in.

Chief executive George Cowcher said: "What a majority our members have told us is they want to stay part of Europe but renegotiate the terms of our membership to wrest back significant control and reduce the burden of being part of the EU."

Renegotiate the terms of our membership? Where have we heard that before? Surely an optimistic hope, but at least one local employer has a far more robust attitude.

Graham Mulholland, managing director at EPM Technology, is one entrepreneur that might be expected to back the European Union. His composite materials operation makes parts for F1 racing cars, aircraft and the telecoms industry, which are shipped around the world.

He said: "The EU is too big and clumsy an animal to control these days and is not quick or strong enough to deal with all the major issues. And it's wasteful.

"I think we're in a good enough place now to walk away, bank the savings and retire the politicians who race to Brussels as their careers end in the UK.

"These monies can then go to schemes like the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund directly, without a middle man who we currently have to ask to get our own money back."


Demetrius said...

What do the good burghers of Coalville say?

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I don't think anyone ever asks them. Maybe they are thinking of leaving the EU.

James Higham said...

This blindness is really a major worry - the truth will have to be sold effectively.

A K Haart said...

James - and the EU has such deep pockets.