Wednesday 2 January 2013
The UK must carve out a new global trading role for itself as part of a new, rapidly-changing European Union.
This is the view of John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), who believes the UK cannot miss opportunities to use the EU to help rebalance the economy towards exports.
He said the government needs to recognise and adapt to the realities of the multi-speed Europe which is emerging.
"The fallout in the uurozone from the debt crisis is not just forcing through rapid political and financial integration," Mr Cridland stated.
"It is also forcing all countries to fundamentally rethink the EU’s wider purpose and deal urgently with the sort of structural flaws Europe has ignored for decades."
However, he warned that the UK needs to tread very carefully.
Mr Cridland argued that the debate about the UK's future in Europe must be based on an informed, hard-headed analysis of where its long-term economic and financial interests lie.
Businesses will need to make their voice heard, he claimed.
“We need global trade deals to drive growth and create jobs, especially when the domestic economy is growing more slowly than required," he stated.
"Businesses don’t want the baby thrown out with the bathwater – not with 50 per cent of our exports heading to Europe."
Posted by Dan Smith