Ex-Executive Chairman of Marks & Spencer and current Chairman of online grocer Ocado, Stuart Rose (Lord Rose), a Tory peer, is to head the campaign for the United Kingdom to remain within the European Union (EU).
The In Campaign will be a cross-party effort to get the British population to vote in favour of staying within the EU in a referendum that Prime Minister David Cameron has promised by the end of 2017.
Lord Rose, one of Britain’s best-known business people, firmly believes that the UK is “stronger in Europe”. He warns that to leave the trading bloc would be a dangerous and reckless.
Mr. Cameron is more likely to associate himself with the In Campaign now that it is headed by a Tory peer.
Lord Rose added:
“The choice in the coming referendum is between remaining stronger, safer and better off inside Europe, or taking a leap into the unknown, risking our prosperity, threatening our safety, and diminishing our influence in the world.”
Britain’s business community is worried about losing easy access to its main export markets. There is also concern about the impact on the UK’s financial services industry if Brits vote in favor of Brexit.
In Campaign hopes Merkel will help
Mr. Cameron held talks with Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, at Chequers on Friday. He repeated his desire to secure reforms and then keep his country inside a reformed EU.
The In Campaign hopes Ms. Merkel will help get the reforms Mr. Cameron is seeking.
According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Mr. Cameron believes the talks were “progressing well”, but added that there still remained “much to be worked through in order to find a solution.”
The announcement of Lord Rose’s appointment coincided with the announcement that a Treasury Select Committee was conducting a ‘costs and benefits’ study of Britain’s membership of the EU.
“This inquiry will be wide-ranging, dealing with all the economic and financial consequences of the UK’s EU membership, and the impact of departure.”
“The Committee’s job will be to attempt to marshal the evidence on this important question into a coherent form, enabling the electorate to make a more informed decision. It welcomes evidence from all those with views and expertise.”
Much of the British press had expected a left-of-centre campaign to keep Britain in the EU. Lord Rose’s appointment clearly shows that the political spectrum reaches as far as the right of centre too. If Mr. Cameron finally decides to recommend Britain remain within the EU, he will probably associate himself with the current In Campaign.
Vote Leave – the UK’s ‘Out Campaign’
On October 8th, the campaign to get Britain out of the EU – Vote Leave – was announced. It is backed financially by several well-known millionaires who have helped fund the Labour, Conservative and UKIP parties.
Vote Leave is supported by three main groups:
– Business for Britain
– Conservatives for Britain
– The Labour Leave Campaign.
According to Steve Baker MP, Co-Chairman of Conservatives for Britain:
“Conservatives for Britain supports the Prime Minister’s attempt to negotiate a fundamentally different relationship with the EU. But we also support the creation of a professional cross-party campaign that can fight the referendum if the EU does not give the PM fundamental change. Such a campaign cannot be built in a few weeks. Work must start now.”
Vote Leave started its campaign by telling the British population that about ₤350 million of taxpayers’ money is sent to Brussels from the UK every week. That is equivalent to ₤20 billion, or more than 50 major state-of-the-art teaching hospitals each year.
Video – The In Campaign
In this BBC News video, Lucy Thomas, from the In Campain, talks about her campaign and the Vote Leave group (that wants Brexit).