LONDON: Over 80 British Indian business leaders, representing companies ranging from multi-million pound businesses to SMEs, have signed an open letter in support of Britain’s continued membership of the European Union during the June 23 referendum. The leaders include prominent entrepreneurs, such as, Karan Bilimoria, Uday Dholakia, Kartar Lalvani, Diljit Rana and Rami Ranger.
The companies run by the 81 signatories operate across Britain and abroad in a range of sectors, including financial and legal services, hospitality, consultancy, real estate, care services, retail, media, technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, construction and manufacturing.
Conservative party MP Alok Sharma, who is co-ordinating the cross- par ty campaign group ‘British Indians for IN’, said: “As the Prime Minister’s Infrastructure Envoy to India, I speak very regularly with business leaders in the UK and India”.
“Their overwhelming view echoes that of the signatories to this letter, that a vote for the UK to leave the EU will be bad for British businesses, jobs and investment.”
“Brexit will have a double whammy effect of not only hitting UK businesses, but also impacting inward investments. Indian firms have informed me that some decisions on future investments into the UK have been deferred until the outcome of the referendum is known and, if we vote to leave the EU, there is a big risk that they will think twice before investing in the UK,” he added.
The signatories believe that the UK’s membership of the EU helps to strengthen the British economy, and a vote to leave would create uncertainty and put jobs and investment at risk.
“Some of those who want Britain to leave the EU suggest that doing so will somehow help to increase our trade with high-growth economies like that of India. We disagree with this assessment. Britain is a stronger economic partner with countries like India because we are part of the EU,” according to the letter.