Miliband woos business with pledge to support EU

The CBI opposes a vote on Britain's membership but some business groups disagree.

by Jack Torrance
Credit: EdMiliband/Flickr
Credit: EdMiliband/Flickr

Ed Miliband is hoping to boost his business credentials by promising to oppose a British exit from the European Union in a speech to the CBI's annual conference today, but it's unclear whether the business community will have his back.

'Every nod and wink to those who want to leave sends a message to potential investors in our country that we are not open for business,' he is expected to say. 'If I am Prime Minister I will never risk your businesses, British jobs, British prosperity by playing political games with our membership of the European Union.'

Miliband could find a friendly audience - although it wants to see reforms, the CBI is a massive cheerleader for the EU and has warned that a referendum would be a distraction from focusing on Britain's economic growth.

'The UK’s membership of a reformed EU is overwhelmingly in our national interest. Eight out of ten CBI members, large and small, would vote to stay in the EU in a referendum,' its president Mike Rake said this morning, although he added that the issue of an in/out vote was a question for the Government to deal with.

Prime minister David Cameron reiterated his plans to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU before holding a referendum in 2017 at the conference, hitting out at the idea that the UK should stay in 'come what may'.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today