Adnams chief Andy Wood supports CBI case for UK to stay in the EU

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams.

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams. - Credit: Archant

Andy Wood, chief executive of Suffolk-based brewer Adnams, has contributed to a CBI report setting out the business case for the UK remaining in a reformed European Union.

A total of 29 CBI members feature in the document, commenting on why they believe continued membership of the EU makes sense.

Mr Wood, a former CBI eastern region chairman, says: “We are making British beer popular across Europe, selling easily through the EU single market to our largest export market, Sweden, meaning we can continue to grow our 420 strong workforce back home.”

The CBI is calling for EU reforms including a simplification of rules to help firms grow and protection for non-eurozone countries against further integration.

It also argues that alternatives to full EU membership offer more downsides than upsides.

John Cridland, the CBI’s director general, said: “The CBI speaks for 190,000 firms of all sizes, in every sector and in every corner of the UK, and most of our companies want the UK to be in a reformed EU. For business the benefits of full membership outweigh the disadvantages, but the EU must work better.

“The Single Market has been the solid foundation of our economic success in recent decades, giving us direct access to 8 times more consumers than in the UK alone and ensuring we can go toe-to-toe with larger economies on major trade deals, creating jobs and economic growth here in the UK.

Most Read

“While there are many benefits to EU membership, we should not be blind to the downsides and recognise the EU, like any big institution has its faults and needs to do better.

“The burden of regulation on smaller firms in particular still needs tackling, even if some progress is being made. And the UK must push for reform to make the whole of the EU more competitive in the global economy and deliver a Single Market fit for the 21st Century.”

However, campaigners for Britain to leave argue that an independent UK would be able to negotiate a free trade agreement, so retaining access to European markets, while benefiting from a reduction in red tape and saving the money represented by Britain’s net contribution to the EU.