A group of business leaders from the West Midlands have launched a lobby group calling for an exit from the European Union.
A total of 70 bosses have today launched Business for Britain, West Midlands, claiming EU regulation is making it harder to create jobs and holds back their businesses and backing the Vote Leave campaign.
Business for Britain, West Midlands is calling for “fundamental change” to the UK’s relationship with the EU and believes that politicians have given away too much control over our economy to EU politicians.
It comes as the Prime Minister is expected to push for backing after striking a deal in Europe.
Johnnie Arkwright, owner of Hatton Country World, is chairman of the group and said YouGov polling showed 32 per cent of smaller businesses surveyed from the West Midlands thought the EU was making it harder for them to employ people, compared to just seven that thought it made it easier.
Mr Arkwright said: “More business leaders in the West Midlands feel that the EU is hindering rather than helping them. EU rules are making it more difficult for us to expand and take on new staff.
“We’ve given away too much control over our economy to politicians in Brussels. I want to see powers come back so that we can make rules that are better suited to the needs of businesses in the West Midlands.
“I believe that businesses in the region could thrive outside the European Union. It is the safer choice to vote to leave.”
National Business for Britain co-chairman Alan Halsall added: “As a businessman, I know how important it is to keep a tight control over costs but that doesn’t seem to be something that EU politicians understand.
"The EU’s accounts haven’t had a clean bill of health for 19 years running – that’s no way to run an organisation which takes more than £1.2 billion from the West Midlands every year.
“If we vote to leave in the EU referendum, we will be able to spend that money on our priorities here in the UK rather than sending it abroad.”