Brexit-Backing BCC Boss Quits

The full statement from the British Chamber of Commerce on John Longworth tonight:

“The British Chambers of Commerce is a non-partisan organisation, and as such, decided not to campaign for either side ahead of the European referendum on 23rd June 2016. Its neutrality in the referendum debate reflects the real divisions that exist in business communities across the UK.

“John Longworth and the BCC Board recognise that John’s personal view on the referendum is likely to create confusion regarding the BCC’s neutral stance going forward. In light of this, John has taken the decision to step down as Director-General and his resignation has been accepted by the Board with effect from 6 March 2016.

“No politician or interest group had any influence on the BCC Board decision to suspend Mr Longworth. His subsequent resignation was agreed mutually between Mr Longworth and the BCC Board, and there were no external factors involved. The only views taken into account were those of the BCC Board and the BCC’s owners, the UK accredited Chamber Network.

Curious they felt the need to stress “no politician or interest group had any influence” on his suspension. Downing Street deny applying pressure. 

The BCC say he has gone because it isn’t appropriate for their boss to be airing personal political views on Europe. They didn’t have a view when he did so in 2014.

“It would be crazy to think if the UK exited the European Union it could not negotiate new trade deals with EU members,” he said. “EU countries sell more to the UK than we sell to them. Last year the UK was Germany’s biggest export market, larger than the US, larger than China. The thing is, whatever happens to the UK, it’s highly unlikely that these countries would erect trade barriers because it would damage them more than us.”

For holding this view, Longworth has now been forced out…

Euro News

Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Soros on the pan-European elections to the EU parliament…

“It is difficult to see how the pro-European parties can emerge victorious from the election in May unless they put Europe’s interests ahead of their own. One can still make a case for preserving the EU in order radically to reinvent it. But that would require a change of heart in the EU. The current leadership is reminiscent of the politburo when the Soviet Union collapsed – continuing to issue ukazes as if they were still relevant.”


Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
“Institute for Public Interest News” is a Bad Idea “Institute for Public Interest News” is a Bad Idea
Humphrys Interviews Naked Remainer Humphrys Interviews Naked Remainer