JCB boss backs Brexit

Lord Bamford, Chairman of JCB since 1975
Lord Bamford

JCB chairman Lord Bamford has written to all the firm’s UK employees and pensioners, telling them he will be voting for the UK to leave the European Union.

Writing ahead of the June 23 vote, Lord Bamford says he is “very confident” the UK can prosper outside the EU and emphasised that, as a nation, 53% of all UK exports go to non-EU countries.

Lord Bamford urged all employees to cast a vote one way or the other.

His letter states, “The EU referendum takes place on June 23 and no one can be certain of the outcome. One thing I’m certain of is this: JCB will continue to trade with Europe, irrespective of whether we remain in or leave the EU. JCB was selling into Europe long before the UK joined the Common Market in 1973 and it will remain an important market for JCB.

“JCB is a global company selling to over 150 countries. Today, EU countries account for 22% of our turnover, the other 78% comes from the UK, India, the Americas, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Far East.

“in fact, as a nation, over 53% of all UK exports go to non-EU countries.

“This referendum is very important. The outcome will determine the future of our country. It will have a lasting impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren. It is a big decision, much more important than a vote in a general election, so please allow me to share some personal views.

 “The UK is a trading nation and the fifth largest economy in the world. I am very confident that we can stand on our two feet. I believe that JCB and the UK can prosper just as much outside the EU, so there is very little to fear if we do choose to leave.

“I voted to stay in the Common Market in 1975. I did not vote for a political union, I did not expect us to hand over sovereignty to the EU. I certainly did not expect unaccountable leaders in Brussels to govern over us.

“In 1973, when we joined as its eighth member, the EU accounted for 31% of world economic output. Today – with 28 member countries – the figure is just 17%, which underlines the shrinking role of the EU in the world economy.

“So do I wish to remain in an EU of diminishing economic importance as it moves towards ever closer union? Or do I want us to pull out of the EU, reclaim our sovereignty and regain control of how we trade with Europe and the world?”

“After more than 40 years in the EU, I will be voting to leave. How you vote is entirely a decision for you. I respectfully urge you to consider all of the arguments ahead of this important referendum. Above all, do please cast a vote, one way or the other – your opinion counts and your vote counts.

“Finally, if the democratic decision after June 23rd is to remain, it will be interesting to see how the UK fits into the EU of the future, given that political and fiscal union remains its ultimate goal.”