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Carillion and Mace leaders among 197 backing 'remain' campaign as EU vote hots up

  • Carillion and Mace leaders back Britain to remain part of the EU
  • 197 business leaders signed letter to The Times backing ’In’ vote
  • Leaders from Arup, Atkins and British Land have also provided signatures

Leaders at two of the UK’s biggest contractors have put their names to a letter calling on the British public to vote to stay in the European Union.

Carillion chairman Philip Green and Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds were among the 197 business leaders signing a letter to The Times claiming the UK would be better off staying in the EU.

Canary Wharf Group chief executive George Iacobescu and Hutchison Whampoa deputy chairman Christian Salbaing also signed the letter .

In the letter, business leaders from more than a third of firms in the FTSE 100 warned that leaving the EU would put the “economy at risk”.

They wrote: “Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500m people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs.

“We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs. It would put the economy at risk.”

The letter was written as campaigning on the EU referendum began in earnest this week ahead of a vote on 23 June.

Senior cabinet members Michael Gove and Ian Duncan-Smith, as well as London mayor Boris Johnson, have already thrown their weight behind the ‘leave’ campaign, following the prime minister’s renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s EU membership.

Commenting on the deal, the business leaders wrote: “Following the prime minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union.

“He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.”

Other notable signatories on the list were Arup chairman Greg Hodkinson, Atkins chief executive Uwe Kruger and British Land chief executive Chris Grigg.

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