Toby Massey, managing director of BM Catalysts has come out in favour of staying in the EU. His anti-Brexit remarks were prepared the week before Prime Minister David Cameron’s latest “emergency brake” deal with EU leaders and before London Mayor Boris Johnson announced he would head up the leave campaign, but remain the same now.
“Brexit is a divisive issue and, from an economic perspective, an incredibly short-sighted one. We’re the largest independent manufacturer of our kind in Europe. 50 per cent of our turnover is generated from export, primarily to EU countries, so our corporate stance is naturally pro EU.
“It’s naive to assume that closing the borders to migrants would facilitate an abundance of home grown labour. In fact, what would happen would be a catastrophic crash in UK manufacturing’s competitiveness. Cost of production for UK manufacturers would likely sky rocket and manufacturers across the channel would be given an obvious advantage. This could easily lead to many manufacturing businesses, especially SMEs, going under altogether.
However, Toby Massey also warns that the current high-risk politics being deployed by all parties could precipitate unpredictable results:
“It’s completely right that David Cameron is negotiating a reform to the UK’s membership of the EU. There are certain aspects of the arrangement that, from a personal perspective, seem bureaucratic and go against the grain of British values. However, it’s a dangerous political game to play. If other member states are unaccepting of Britain’s proposed changes, which they seem to be, and if David Cameron and Donald Tusk are unable to hammer out a workable reform package for the UK, Brexit becoming a reality come the referendum is a likely outcome.
“If this is the case and import and export duty reintroduced and workforce flexibility altered, we’d have to seriously rethink our operational strategy at BM Catalysts. Solutions would be to either scale back our operation and concentrate entirely on domestic markets or potentially even relocate to the mainland. Both measures would have drastic implications for our existing workforce and local economy.”