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Neil Carmichael debates Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, RyanAir and Wetherspoons CEOs

Yesterday (Tuesday 31 May 2016) Conservative Group for Europe Chair, Neil Carmichael MP (Stroud), took part in a debate about the UK’s relationship with the European Union, with Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, Tim Martin of Wetherspoons and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.

Neil said:

‘Every day there is more evidence that our membership of the EU – and our access to the European single market – is vitally important to our national well-being.

‘Only today (Wednesday 1 June), two more major players in our economy – and two more major providers of high-quality jobs in the UK economy – have expressed their strong support for our EU membership.

‘Firstly, Siemens Plc, which employs 14,000 people in this country, has reiterated its support for our EU membership and its fears about the future of our manufacturing base if we leave, having already commented that “a decision to stay in the EU would be the right one for Britain and for the economy, and it would make it far easier for Siemens to continue to invest in and grow our business in the UK”.

‘Secondly, and very close to home for me as MP for Stroud, there is my local employer Airbus UK, whose President Paul Kahn warned today: “The economic disruption and uncertainty that would accompany a leave vote would inevitably impact on long-term investment decisions and, in turn, future job creation in UK manufacturing”.

‘We also have the authoritative report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) out today, which shows that over 100,000 manufacturing jobs will be created in the UK by 2030 thanks to our access to the single market.

‘The evidence is overwhelming: Brexit would be a reckless gamble – a short-sighted, self-indulgent and reckless gamble with other people’s jobs and livelihoods.’

CGE BattleVan hits Derbyshire with Cabinet Minister Patrick McLoughlin

Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, saw the arrival of the CGE’s BattleVan, the Winner Wagon, on Sunday. Joining CGE Chair Neil Carmichael MP were Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and Sir David Scott, the former Conservative MP for Leek.

The Conservative Group for Europe’s BattleVan will be travelling the length and breadth of Britain making the case for Remain.

Voters engaged positively with CGE members present. Amongst the issues discussed was immigration. On that particular subject, Cabinet Minister Patrick McLoughlin said “even if we left the EU, we would still have to follow their rules. These include the free movement of people. Norway shows what it is like to be out. To trade with the EU it has to accept over 90% of the rules, but has no vote.”

Following the day’s campaigning, CGE Chair Neil Carmichael said “Overall support for the Remain campaign continues to be good, and we were able to persuade a decent number of people to vote Remain. It’s important we keep up the push ahead of June 23rd”

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Douglas Flint, Chair of HSBC UK, address CGE on the importance of the EU to the British economy

Douglas Flint, Chair of HSBC UK, this evening addressed members of the CGE on the importance of our EU membership to the British economy, and our financial services sector.

In a thirty minute speech, Mr Flint made a powerful case for our continued membership of the EU, covering a variety of topics; among others, the importance of the Single Market, European financial regulation, and Britain’s place in the European and world economies.

His speech was followed by a lively question and answer session.

Following the event, Mr Flint said: “HSBC’s economic research is very clear about the advantages of Britain being at the heart of a reformed EU. Important and unquantifiable risks arise from the potential impact on our customers of a vote to leave. We believe that the UK would enter a period of great economic uncertainty and should the UK economy slow and economic conditions deteriorate as our research suggests, in at least the short to medium term, this would affect many of our customers in the UK and the economic environment we operate in.

Additionally, Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the CGE, said: “It’s been fantastic to have someone of Douglas’ knowledge, experience and stature address the CGE on the economic risks Britain faces in the event of Brexit. And now, with several important financial institutions endorsing our continued EU membership, I feel the economic case for ‘in’ has been won- we are stronger, safer, and better off in a reformed EU.

This event was kindly hosted by the Cicero Group.

Stanley Johnson addresses the CGE on the environmental case for Remain

Stanley Johnson, father of Boris, this evening addressed the Conservative Group for Europe, making the environmental case for staying in the European Union.

Touching on his experiences working as a journalist, at the UN, and as Head of the Prevention of Pollution Division within the European Commission, Mr Johnson made a powerful environmental case for our remaining within the EU.

In an informative and entertaining speech to members, Mr Johnson mentioned the many ways in which the EU has helped make the British economy ‘cleaner, greener, and leaner’.
His speech was followed by questions from the floor.

Summing up, Mr Johnson said: “it is precisely because of the support of EU law and institutions, that we bathe on cleaner beaches, drive more fuel-efficient cars and have cleaner air. Britain’s environment is better off in the EU, and it is for that reason, among others, that I will be voting ‘in’ on June 23rd.

Our EU membership is backed by several environmental campaigning groups, among them, The Wildlife Trusts, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace.

CGE & CEM Press Release: “Can Europe Keep us Safer?”



“Can Europe Keep us Safer?”

Release time: Immediate                           Date: Tuesday 2nd February 2016


Pro-European Conservative MPs today launch a new programme of policy discussions and events to promote a positive reform agenda for the European Union which can lead to a “yes” vote in the referendum that will follow the Prime Minister’s renegotiations.

The first event “Can Europe keep us Safer?” – jointly hosted by Damian Green and Neil Carmichael this evening – will be an intelligence and security discussion meeting for Conservative MPs and members led by the former Attorney General Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP and Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones, former Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

At the meeting Dominic Grieve will say;

“Our leaving the EU would have a serious impact on the operation of our systems for ensuring our national security. While alternative bilateral arrangements might be made they will be time consuming to negotiate and leave us at risk in the meantime.”

Damian Green, Chair of Conservative European Mainstream said;

“With the formation of Conservatives for Reform in Europe a growing number of Conservative MPs are recognising the benefits of staying in Europe. We are supporting the Prime Minister in his efforts to reform and improve the EU. There needs to be a distinctive Conservative voice as part of the campaign to keep Britain in, because Conservatives want a secure Britain with a strong voice in the world, and the EU helps us achieve that.”

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Conservative Group for Europe said;

“There are many Conservative MPs and members in the country who want to see a confident United Kingdom remain part of a reformed European Union.  Working jointly with European Mainstream and the Conservatives for Reform in Europe we have the clear purpose of providing the ammunition and support to the Prime Minister to successfully negotiate Britain’s future within the European Union and win a “yes” vote in the referendum that follows.”