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Handful of hospitality firms sign pro-EU letter

23 February 2016 by
Handful of hospitality firms sign pro-EU letter

Just a handful of representatives from the hospitality sector were among the signatories to an open letter published in The Times today calling for Britain to remain in the EU.

The letter made the headlines this morning after it emerged that 197 UK business leaders had signed a letter backing remaining in the EU.

It read: "Following the Prime Minister's renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union. He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.

"Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs. It would put the economy at risk."

Among signatories to the letter from the hospitality sector were Tony Fernandes, founder of budget hotel firm Tune Group, as well as Lady Ruth Rogers, owner of the River Café.

They were joined by other representatives from the sector including Ashley Govier, managing director of cleaning firm Hotel Services Group, and John Harries, proprietor of the Three Horseshoes Inn in Brecon, Powys.

Paul Walsh, chief executive of foodservice firm Compass Group, signed in a personal capacity.

Some suppliers to the hospitality sector also signed the letter, among them Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, Allen Hogan, managing director of Hogan's Cider, Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, and Kasim Ali, director of Waterloo Tea. Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, has signed in a personal capacity.

The publication of the letter comes just a day after London Mayor Boris Johnson declared in favour of leaving the EU, electrifying the debate.

A referendum is set to take place on 23 June this year.

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