THE PRESS OFFICE OF
The Lord Stoddart of Swindon
20th May 2015
Peer charges CBI with being “corporatist and anti-democratic”
The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has strongly criticised Mike Rake the President of the Confederation of British Industry for his speech calling for the UK to remain in the EU, accusing the CBI of ignoring the General Election result and pursuing “corporatist and anti-democratic” policies.
Lord Stoddart said: “I find it deeply worrying that the President of the CBI has learned nothing from the recent General Election results in which political parties with EU-sceptic credentials were overwhelmingly successful in comparison to those parties who still believe in EU membership; both in number of votes polled and in percentage terms. In other words, the CBI wants to ignore the democratically expressed will of the people in pursuing its corporatist objectives.
“Sending lobbyists to Brussels rather than every capital in Europe might suit the big businesses represented by the CBI but SMEs, the lifeblood of our economy, are hugely disadvantaged. We are seeing the results of this in the introduction of the EU’s heavy-handed new regulations that have forced small businesses which sell products online to register for VAT, even if they are well below the national threshold for VAT. Many have simply abandoned online sales as a result.
“If the CBI wishes to continue to pursue its corporatist and anti-democratic policy on this issue, it needs to make clear precisely what the benefits are of staying in the EU and its approach to the problem that staying in the EU inevitably creates i.e. ever greater integration and much more red tape, which our country cannot afford. We would all do well to remember that the CBI was one of the siren voices that led the campaign to scrap the pound and join the eurozone. What a mess that would have landed us in!”