JCB to quit CBI over Brexit disagreements
Construction equipment firm’s chairman Lord Bamford is supporter of leaving the EU
JCB chairman Lord Bamford: the construction equipment giant is quitting the CBI business lobbying group amid reports of clashes over Brexit. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Lord Bamford, whose father founded JCB in 1945, has been an outspoken supporter of leaving the EU, while CBI members have warned against it.
Both parties confirmed the decision but declined to offer reasons why. The move will be seen as a blow for the CBI, which will lose the backing of one of the UK’s biggest manufacturers.
A CBI spokesman said: “It’s always a shame to see any member leave the CBI, but we recognise that businesses have competing priorities and we respect that.”
JCB employs around 5,500 UK workers at 11 factories and operates other plants in North America, India, China and Brazil.
Lord Bamford’s support for leaving the EU was underlined when Vote Leave – the official “out” campaign – confirmed this summer that it had received two donations of £100,000 from JCB.
On Sunday, leaders of the CBI expressed alarm at the apparent direction of British government policy towards a hard Brexit option, which they say could see tariffs imposed on 90 per cent of British exports.