Europe top of PM’s Davos agenda

World leaders, chief executives and even a couple of Formula One World Champions are gathered in the ski resort of Davos this week for the World Economic Forum. After Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, David Cameron flew out to join them.

With the PM clear that he would like to secure a deal on the UK’s EU renegotiation at the February summit – as he told Andrew Marr in his new year interview – conversations with other European leaders are likely to be at the top of his Davos to-do list.

This afternoon the Prime Minister has given a speech at the World Economic Forum on securing the future of Britain in a reformed European Union.

In his speech David Cameron was clear that business has an important voice in the Europe debate and the forthcoming referendum. The issue of EU membership matters a great deal to businesses in the UK – and, with 90% of our members exporting to the EU, the outcome of the referendum certainly matters to the sectors we represent.

The UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors gain significant economic benefits from the UK’s membership of the EU (as ADS and KPMG identified in a report last year) and our sectors believe the UK remaining in the EU would be better for our global competitiveness. Our sectors value the UK government’s ability to influence the rules of the EU single market and the global standards which shape the regulatory environment for our key customers and suppliers. They benefit from access to free trade and integrated pan-European supply chains. And the EU is an important source of funding for UK research, development, collaboration and innovation.

This support for EU membership, however, comes with a clear call for change to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Brussels and to maximise the value of EU membership for the benefit of British businesses.

We want government and industry to work proactively within the EU to secure investment, maintain global influence and retain full access to free trade and integrated supply chains.