Brexit Camp Gets Biz Boost

Priti Patel MP
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Former HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan among 250 business leaders support Britain leaving the EU

Priti Patel MP, Indian Diaspora Champion and Minister for works and pensions, is a prominent figure in the Brexit camp
Priti Patel MP, Indian Diaspora Champion and Minister for works and pensions, is a prominent figure in the Brexit camp

Vote Leave unveiled 250 business leaders and entrepreneurs backing the campaign.

Vote Leave also announced that its Business Council will be chaired by John Longworth, the former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce.

In a statement Britain Stronger in Europe said Vote Leave could not find a business to officially back it, as those listed supported it in a “personal capacity”. A referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU will be held on 23 June.

Last month, bosses of 36 of the largest listed companies in Britain signed a letter urging voters to remain in the EU. The Business Council, working in conjunction with Business for Britain, will make the case that EU membership is holding back British business.

Business leaders who have signed up as backers of the Vote Leave campaign include:

Michael Geoghegan, Former Chief Executive of HSBC Group Plc

Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoons

David Ross, Founder of Carphone Warehouse

Pasha Khandaker, President of the Bangladesh Caterers Association

Damon de Laszlo, Chairman of Harwin Plc

John Sclater, Former President of Equitable Life

Martin Bellamy, Chairman and CEO of Salamanca Group

Dominic Burke, Group Chief Executive, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Plc

William Wright, Co-Founder, Wrightbus

John Caudwell, founder of Phones4U

Emma Pullen, MD of the British Hovercraft Company

John Hoerner, Former Chief Executive Officer, Tesco Clothing UK and Central Europe

Luke Johnson, Chairman of Patisserie Valerie

Jon Moulton, Founder of Better Capital LLP

Rupert Hambro, Director of Theo Fennell Plc

Rocco Forte, Chief Executive of Rocco Forte Hotels

Alex Polizzi, Director of Millers Bespoke Bakery

Gary Lydiate, Chief Executive, Kilfrost Group plc

Rob Lewis, Founder and CEO, Electric Jukebox Company

Peter Morgan, Former Director General, Institute of Directors

Clive Jacobs, Chairman, Jacobs Media Group

Vote Leave also announced that its Business Council would be chaired by John Longworth, who resigned his role as director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) earlier this month.

Mr Longworth’s resignation followed his suspension for saying the UK’s long-term prospects could be “brighter” outside the EU when the BCC had an official position of neutrality on the referendum.

Vote Leave’s Business Council will make the case that EU membership is holding back British business.

Mr Longworth told BBC: “If we Vote Leave, liberated from the shackles of EU membership, jobs will be safer, Britain will be able to spend our money on our priorities and we can look forward to faster growth and greater prosperity in the future.”

Mr Elliott said: “Vote Leave will make that case, that whilst the EU might be good for big multinationals, for smaller businesses it acts as a job destruction regulatory machine.
“Brussels hinders smaller businesses, particularly those firms who can’t afford to lobby Brussels to curry favour. Jobs, wages and our economy will thrive when we take back control and Vote Leave.”