Virgin Group founder Richard Branson (pictured), utility firm Centrica (British Gas) chairman Roger Carr and BT chairman Mike Rake have called on politicians to work closely with the European Union (EU) to cut the budget deficit and encourage employment.
It is the second time in as many weeks that business leaders have sought to influence political policy.
Business leaders including Marks & Spencer’s Sir Stuart Rose and Sainsbury’s Justin King came out in support of the Conservative Party’s policy to scrap Labour’s plan to increase National Insurance.
The business chiefs made the call in an open letter published in The Financial Times today (22 April). It comes ahead of the May 6 national election, and on the day of the three main political parties debate foreign policy in the second live televised policy debate.
The letter comes from Business for New Europe (BNE), a group which aims to drive reform in the 27-member European bloc.
It says: “In order to cut the deficit and achieve economic and employment growth, we need a government working strongly within the European political mainstream.
As representatives of some of the UK’s largest businesses and employers, we believe that British business needs a government at Europe’s top table.”