The head of the UK’s biggest business group has warned against leaving the EU, claiming that Britain remaining a full member is “fundamental” to its economic success. John Cridland, the Director General of CBI, told the Observer that the UK’s membership of the EU “supports jobs, drives growth, and boosts our international competitiveness”. He said the EU is the UK’s biggest export market and that it “remains fundamental to our economic future”. Mr Cridland’s comments could not come at a worse time for David Cameron following his failed campaign to keep Jean-Claude Juncker from becoming president of the EU commission, an appointment that could push the UK public further in favour of leaving the EU. The leader of the CBI, which lobbies on behalf of businesses, discarded the idea held by some Conservatives and UKIP members that an alternative to the UK’s full membership of the EU would still allow the country’s economy to thrive. Cridland said the idea “simply wouldn’t work”, and that it would leave the UK “beholden to rules without being able to influence them.” He added: “We will continue to press the case for the UK remaining in a reformed European Union.” Writing in the Sunday Times today, Labour leader Ed Miliband was scathing of Mr Cameron’s performance in the run up to Mr Juncker’s appointment. He said: “Mr Cameron blusters about bullying 27 other member states into agreeing fundamental treaty change before a referendum on withdrawal. “But the isolation he achieved this week is not ‘splendid’. It shows he is incapable of reforming Europe and his strategy of getting change by making threats to leave to get change does not work.” He added: “All it does is take Britain closer to an exit door through which three million British jobs and tens of thousands of businesses could disappear”.
UK’s biggest business group warns against leaving the EU