The chairman of one of Britain’s biggest construction companies JCB just said that Britain is better off leaving the European Union.
Lord Bamford, who is the boss of JCB which makes manufacturing equipment for construction, demolition and agriculture, said that he believes that Britain’s trade ties will not be greatly affected by a Brexit and that the nation would be better placed to negotiate with the EU if it left the union.
“We are the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world. We could exist on our own, peacefully and sensibly,” said Lord Bamford. “The UK could negotiate as our own country rather than being one of 28 nations in Brussels as we are today.”
When asked directly about whether Britain it would be better if Britain operated left the EU, he added:”I think it would be, because I really don’t think it would make a blind bit of difference to trade with Europe. There has been far too much scaremongering about things like jobs. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to stop trade. I don’t think we or Brussels will put up trade barriers.”
JCB is a privately-held firm and reported a 6% drop in sales for 2014, compared with 2013, to £2.5 billion. The company said this was mainly due to slide in emerging market sales. In China and Brazil, plant machinery equipment revenue tanked by 17% in 2014, while Russia reported a 27% plunge in sales.
In contract, sales in the UK rocketed by 30% while revenue in the US jumped by 13%.
Britain’s ruling Conservative Party will have to deliver a referendum by 2017 over whether Britain will stay part of the EU or not, since it was a linchpin pledge during the campaign.
Though the Tories are pushing through the promise of a referendum, however, the party is largely against leaving the EU.
In January last year, UK Chancellor George Osborne said the Tories were determined to deliver on the promise of a referendum but they would prefer to stay within the EU and negotiate “a better deal.”
“Our determination is clear: to deliver the reform and then let the people decide,” Osborne said in a speech at a Tory party conference on January 14. “It is the status quo which condemns the people of Europe to an ongoing economic crisis and continuing decline. And so there is a simple choice for Europe: reform or decline.”