Brexit would hit UK growth and impede foreign investment

Today top business leaders, employing 180,000 workers in Britain, have written a joint letter outlining the benefits of the UK's membership of the EU. You can read the full letter below: 

Sir, We are some of the thousands of companies that have chosen to invest in Britain. Our investments range from advanced manufacturing facilities to digital infrastructure, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The UK is consistently ranked as one of the most attractive destinations in the world for investors, and it is the top destination for inward FDI (foreign direct investment) in Europe. There are many reasons for this: a culture of innovation and creativity, a flexible labour market, a predictable and sound legal system, the English language. However, for us, EU membership is also a big reason why we have chosen Britain. Recent suggestions that the UK should leave the single market if it exits the EU are particularly concerning and potentially hugely damaging. According to surveys, almost three-quarters of foreign investors cite access to the EU’s single market as a key reason for their investment in Britain.

We see Britain’s EU membership as a win-win situation: the single market offers us seamless access to a market of 500m people, giving us instant possibility to scale up our investment. At the same time, foreign investment boosts innovation and job creation in Britain, boosting the country’s overall wealth in the long term.

However, if there is one thing we as investors don’t like, it is economic uncertainty. As several important bodies have said — the International Monetary Fund, Bank of England, London School of Economics, the Treasury and others — leaving the EU would mean a shock to the UK economy, hurting growth, job creation and foreign investment. And no existing alternative outside can match EU membership in terms of access to the single market and a say over the rules governing trade and investment in that market.

We are concerned this uncertainty, which would hang over the UK’s future trading relationship with the remaining EU states should it leave the single market, could materially affect major international businesses’ future investment decisions. As investors, it is therefore very much in our interests that Britain stays in the EU.

Tom Enders
Chief Executive Officer, Airbus

Michael R Bloomberg
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bloomberg

Chuck Robbins
Chief Executive Officer, Cisco

Joe Tucci
Chief Executive Officer, EMC

Jeff Immelt
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, GE

Hiroaki Nakanishi
Chairman, Hitachi

Mike Fries
Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Global

Grant F. Reid
President, Mars

Mauro Moretti
Chief Executive Officer, Leonardo-Finmeccanica

Jim Farley
Chairman, Ford of Europe

Gregor Boehm
Managing Director, Carlyle Europe Partners, Carlyle Group

Christian Salbaing
Vice-Chairman, Hutchison Whampoa (Europe)

Mark Dorsett
UK Country Director, Caterpillar

David Stokes
Chief Executive Officer, IBM UK and Ireland

Michel van der Bel
Managing Director, Microsoft UK