The Prime Minister has been accused of “doing deals” with big corporations to “exaggerate” the potential risks of a Brexit vote in the upcoming referendum.
In a leaked letter from February at a time when David Cameron was renegotiating Britain’s position with the European Union and claiming he would “rule nothing out” if he did not secure his desired changes the head of a multi-national company raises the idea of “how to mobilise corporates” about the risks of leaving the EU.
The letter from Rupert Soames, CEO of outsourcing company Serco, to Mr Cameron, came 11 days before the Prime Minister’s negotiations with the EU were completed, the Daily Mail reported.
Rupert Soames Rupert Soames, the CEO of Serco Credit: Chris Ratcliffe /Bloomberg
According to the newspaper, the letter from Mr Soames, who supports a ‘Remain’ vote, said: “There were two points I thought I might follow up on. The first is how to mobilise corporates to look carefully at the risks Brexit represents.
“I am working with Peter Chadlington and Stuart Rose (the head of Britain Stronger in Europe) with a view to contacting FTSE 500 companies who have annual reports due for publication before June and persuading them that they should include Brexit in the list of key risks. All public companies are required to set out in their annual report an analysis of key risks.”
The company has publicly backed EU membership in a letter signed by 200 businesses.
David Cameron gives a speech for the ‘Stronger In’ campaign David Cameron is now campaigning for a Remain vote Credit: Will Oliver /EPA
Leave campaigner and Labour MP Gisela Stuart told the Daily Mail: “There are serious issues for the Prime Minister to answer. We now know he has been doing deals with businesses to exaggerate the risk of a vote by the UK to leave the EU.”
A spokesman said Number 10 would not comment on leaked documents.
Serco said there was no link between support for remaining in the EU and efforts to secure state contracts, saying: “We have contracts worth around £130million a year with European institutions such as the European Commission and the European Space Agency, and it is part of strategy to build the business we do with European institutions.
“We believe that if Britain left the EU, it would be more difficult for us to win EU government contracts, and we regard this as a risk to the business.”
Courtesy : telegraph.co.uk