IoD verdict on Prime Minister's EU speech: 'realistic and pragmatic'

23 January 2013

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech this morning on Britain’s relationship with the European Union, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“The Prime Minister’s approach is realistic and pragmatic. The British public, and many of our members, are sceptical about many of the institutions and practices of the EU. We need to put their doubts to rest.”

“Free movement of goods and people is enormously important for the British economy, and we need to preserve that situation. At the same time, there are serious concerns about large amounts of costly regulation being introduced through unaccountable processes. We will enthusiastically take part in the process of proposing powers to renegotiate and bring back to Westminster. A future referendum to decide the workings of our relationship is the best way to affirm Britain’s participation in a free-market Europe which is competitive and deregulated.

“It is far better to deal with these issues than to shy away from them. British business is resilient. It is flexible and it can cope with change – or uncertainty. The Eurozone crisis is the source of far more uncertainty than a referendum. Most IoD members export, the majority of them to the EU. It is in everyone’s interests for that trading relationship to continue – and I am sure it will.”

ENDS

Contacts for further comments or to arrange interviews:

Mark Wallace
Head of Media Relations
Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
+44 (0)20 7451 3263
+44 (0)7764 883 417
mark.wallace@iod.com  

Edwin Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
+44 (0)20 7451 3392
+44 (0)7814 386 243
Edwin.morgan@iod.com

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 38,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
  • The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.
  • The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with ten UK centres (three in London, one each in Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast) and one in Paris, conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.




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