Over 80 British Indian business leaders, representing companies ranging from multimillion-pound businesses to small and medium-sized enterprises, 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-party 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 the double whammy effect of not only hitting UK businesses but also impacting on inward investment,” he added. “Indian companies 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 Indian companies will think twice before investing in the UK.”
The signatories believe that the UK’s membership of the European Union helps strengthen the British economy and that a vote to leave would create significant uncertainty and put jobs and business 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 European Union,” the letter reads.
“In our experience, one of the key reasons that Britain is an attractive destination for inward overseas investment is because we are seen as a gateway to the European Single Market of 500 million people,” the signatories added.