RH commercial vehicles is a British firm whose business is inextricably bound with Europe as its a dealer for Swedish owned Renault Trucks.
So it is perhaps surprising that its boss wants Britain to leave the EU.
But he believes his business will be free of restrictive red tape if Britain goes it alone.
“The positives for us are that we will no longer be overburdened with regulation. I don’t believe it will make any significant change to us at all in terms of trade,” says Nigel Baxter, managing director of RH Commercial Vehicles.
“Our relationship is with the European manufacturer, that relationship will continue. We’re continuing to grow, continuing to develop, they are continuing to grow and continuing to develop. There’s a vested interest for both parties to ensure that that continues and I have every confidence that it will.”
Providing EU leaders and then the European Parliament agree a deal to keep Britain in the bloc, Cameron will still have to convince many in his own party, and beyond, to back his measures.
With a referendum on whether to leave the EU planned for later in the year, members of Parliament from across the political spectrum are gearing up for battle.
“The advantage of coming back is that we can take control of our spending to make sure we spend our money on our priorities,” said Steven Baker MP and founder of Conservatives for Britain.
Not so says Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP and chairman of Labour Business:
“It would be very bad from the point of view of investment because many many global companies invest in the UK because it’s an English speaking market but also because it’s a member of the European Union and so it gives you access to a much larger market of 500 million consumers.”
The cost of a brexit for UK (2016-2030)
According to think tank “Open Europe”:
http://openeurope.org.uk/today/blog/britain-can-prosper-post-brexit-if-it-embraces-free-trade-and-deregulation/, the UK could lose up to three percent of its GDP if it pulls out of Europe as a result of increased import and export costs.
That figure could be eased in case of a comprehensive trade deal with the EU (-0,8% GDP) or in case of trade deal and deregulation (-0,1% GDP)
But, at the same time, the benefits of withdrawing may boost Britain’s coffers by
opening up to global trade (0.6% GDP) and if there’s a push towards unprecedented deregulation (1.55% GDP).
As politicians wrangle over the benefits of being in or out, many business owners are convinced they will pay the price if there’s a “Brexit”.
Tom Gosnells, founder of Gosnells London Mead, believes his trade will suffer adversely: “Our kegs come from the Netherlands, our bottles come from Belgium and our honey comes from Spain, so pretty much all our supply chain is related to Europe. Also, We already export to Italy and we’re looking to other markets within Europe and I think if we came out of the EU there would be some risk around that.”
While the consequences for business and politics remain unknown, the British public according to polls are evenly split.
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