LONDON - The campaign for Britain to leave the EU has been backed by 250 business leaders including the former chief executive of HSBC, the Vote Leave group said on Saturday, hoping to counter the view that UK businesses back staying in the bloc.
The camps arguing for and against Britain staying in the European Union ahead of a referendum on British membership on June 23 have both made the economic impact of a 'Brexit' a cornerstone of their campaigns.
Last month, the bosses at more than a third of Britain's biggest companies including oil giants Shell and BP , and its largest telecoms group BT said leaving the EU would put jobs and investment at risk.
On Saturday, Vote Leave, one of the groups supporting a British exit, unveiled its own list of backers including Michael Geoghegan, former Chief Executive of HSBC Group, John Caudwell, founder of Phones4U and Tim Martin, the boss of pubs group JD Wetherspoon.
"With our growing list of business supporters, Vote Leave will make that case that whilst the EU might be good for big multinationals, for smaller businesses it acts as a job destruction regulatory machine," Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Vote Leave, said.
Vote Leave also said it was forming a Business Council to argue that EU membership was holding back business.