French CEOs Call On U.K. Voters to Back Remain in EU Referendum

  • Airbus, Bouygues, BNP, Danone, Publicis, Vinci Sign Letter
  • Business chiefs call follows French poll in favor of remain

The leaders of some of France’s top companies urged their British neighbors to stick with the European Union to safeguard jobs and investment, less than 48 hours before polls open for the Brexit referendum.

In a joint letter published in English Tuesday, 34 corporations including 16 listed on France’s benchmark stock index, called on the U.K. to stay in the EU to retain access to the European single market.

“Today’s jobs and tomorrow’s investment -- and hence future jobs -- depend on the U.K. being firmly and lastingly anchored within the single market,” the business leaders said in an open letter.

Airbus Group SE, Axa SA, Scor SE, JCDecaux SA, Michelin & Cie., Orange SA, Technip SA, Vinci SA, Danone, Engie SA, Bouygues SA, BNP Paribas SA are among the companies that signed the one-page appeal.

“Britain is Great. But to remain attractive to businesses you need the ingredients of that greatness: market access and open trade,” the companies said. “Trade barriers outside the single market and years of uncertainty about your links with your major trading partners would fundamentally weaken the business case for investing in the U.K. For you, for us, for all of us: please don’t leave!”

The letter follows a Sunday poll that showed that 63 percent of French people want the U.K. to remain in the single market. The Odoxa survey was published in Le Parisien daily.

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