Britain’s membership of the European Union is good for business and allows the government to help set rules on trade and tax, Prime Minister David Cameron will tell business leaders today.
“The fact is that it is in international institutions that many of the rules of the game are set on trade, tax and regulation,” he will say in Essex, east of London, according to his office. “When a country like ours is affected profoundly by those rules, I want us to have a say on them. This is about boldly pursuing our interests -- not by withdrawing from the world but engaging with it.”
Conservative lawmakers made history last month by voting en masse against their own government’s legislative program, in protest at the lack of an immediate provision for a referendum on EU membership. Earlier in the year, so-called Euroskeptics forced Cameron to promise he would hold a referendum by 2017 if he won re-election in 2015.
Tory lawmaker Andrew Bridgen yesterday went on the record as having called for Cameron to quit as party leader. A total of 46 such letters need to be signed by lawmakers to trigger a confidence vote in the prime minister.
In his speech today, Cameron will take up his theme that his job is to equip the U.K. for a “global race.” He’ll point to policies such as cutting corporation tax to the lowest in the G-20.
Next week, the U.K. will host the Group of Eight summit. There the prime minister has made reducing corporate tax evasion one of the items on the agenda.