Published on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Big names in travel sign letter against Brexit

Some of the biggest names in the travel industry have put their names to a letter calling for Britain to remain part of the European Union.

Peter Long, chairman of TUI's Supervisory Board, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary, easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall, Air Asia chief Tony Fernandes and co-founder Martha Lane Fox, plus the chiefs of Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester Airports Group, have all signed the letter, published in the Times today.

They are among 200 business leaders representing a number of industries calling for Britain to stay within a 'reformed European Union'.

The group includes the chairmen and chief executives of 36 companies in the FTSE 100, including ASDA, BT, Vodafone, and Marks & Spencer.

The letter argues that leaving the EU would deter investment and put jobs and the economy at risk.

"Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs," says the letter.

"We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the economy at risk. Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the EU."

In a statement this morning, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye added: "Membership of the EU has made air travel affordable and convenient, with regular flights to the continent from all parts of Britain - fuelling jobs, exports and economic growth."

And Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, which owns Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, said: "UK airlines now compete successfully on routes right across Europe, taking full advantage of the 'open skies' created by the EU.

"In addition to a greater choice of destinations and lower fares, European travellers have also gained in other ways, including safer and more secure travel, the abolition of mobile phone roaming charges, reciprocal health agreements and protection when flights are disrupted."

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  • I agree Richard.

    Not surprised by Ryan Air or TUI they are not British companies, so may be compromised in some way by a Brexit. We visited Europe before the EU, and will continue in this habit if/when we leave. Where is the problem EasyJet? Vote Brexit!

    By Paul Davis, Sunday, March 6, 2016

  • I believe this is a false supposition

    The letter states, "..."Business needs unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs," says the letter...." Well, that was what we signed up for all those years ago - a European Free Trade area. And most of the things that this free market offered was harmonsaition of taxes and simplification of such things as cross-border sales. Which we did not get. What we did get is control of our country's affairs by an unelected and incompetent bureaucracy, for which we pay millions of pounds every day. There are many non-EU countries that manage very well - and so could we. I voted to join the Common Market - I am voting to leave the EU.

    By Richard English, Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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