Leading UK female entrepreneurs unite to stay in EU

Martha Lane Fox and ex Dragon Kelly Hoppen among business leaders that have backed anti-Brexit campaign which highlights economic benefits of EU

50 of the country’s most successful women, including entrepreneurs, authors and business leaders, have signed a letter urging Britons to choose to stay in the European Union (EU).

Organised by chair of Women IN Jenny Halpern Prince, women from across business, the arts and science including Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox, designer and ex Dragon Kelly Hoppen, and chef Ruth Rogers, have joined the campaign for an in-vote in the upcoming referendum.

In light of recent pro-Brexit rhetoric, the letter highlights the benefits that staying in the EU has on trade, commerce, exporting and employment for the UK. It reads:

“We are drawn from all walks of life. We work in medicine, retail, health, financial services, the creative industries, trade unions, interior design and fashion. And we have all benefited from our membership of the EU. Too often, women’s voices aren’t front and centre of political debate. But this referendum is going to be different.”

Yesterday, Lord Stuart Rose – who chairs the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign – said the EU was worth an average £670,000 in extra trade for each business that does deals with the 28 member states.

At the same time, rival Vote Leave campaign highlighted research from Civitas claiming that export growth in the single market area was 22.3% lower following the creation of the European Union in 1993 than it would have been had it continued at its trend rate.

Jennny Halpern Prince commented: “Our membership of the EU helps create jobs, helps our economy to thrive and provides really important employment safeguards, like maternity and paternity leave. We’d be putting so much at risk by leaving — it just isn’t worth it.”

Lane-Fox added: “Leaving the EU would be a disaster for the next generation of Britain’s entrepreneurs. Being in Europe means we can trade without tariffs and there are a common set of regulations across 28 countries. And as a mammoth market of 500 million consumers, we can negotiate free trade agreements with countries like the US, China and Australia.”

Find out what small business owners think about the EU referendum in our Brexit: should we stay or should we go? feature.


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