TUI Chief Says Britain Benefits From European Union, Should Stay

  • Company closely following the debate about possible `Brexit'
  • TUI says it is too early for specific measures to prepare

TUI AG, Europe’s largest tour operator, would like the U.K. to stay in the European Union because both consumers and his company benefit from it, Chief Executive Officer Fritz Joussen said.

“I would like to see the U.K. remaining a member of the European Union,” Joussen said in an e-mailed response to questions by Bloomberg News. “Businesses like TUI with a strong foothold and more than five million holiday makers per year in the U.K. will benefit from Britain keeping its close ties with the EU. The tourism industry in the U.K. and millions of British holiday makers also strongly benefit from the common European market and the U.K. being part of it.”

While the company is closely following the debate about a possible “Brexit,” or British exit from the union, it’s too early to consider any concrete tactical or strategic actions to prepare for the outcome of the referendum, the executive said.

A referendum on U.K. membership may come as early as June 23. After two days of British newspaper headlines attacking British Prime Minister David Cameron’s deal with the EU, a poll showed an increase in support for Britain’s “Out” campaign. Forty-five percent of respondents were in favor of leaving the EU and 36 percent wanted to remain inside, with 19 percent undecided, YouGov Plc said on its website, after polling 1,675 potential voters online on Feb. 3 and 4.

Cameron on Friday held talks in Poland about cutting welfare for Eastern Europeans living in the U.K., trying to break down resistance against a plan which is key to a deal on his demands for Britain to remain in the 28-nation bloc.

Aside from the U.K., TUI’s most important groups of clients come from Germany and Scandinavia. The company’s main stock exchange listing is in London, while it reports in euros and has its headquarter in Hanover, Germany.

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