LONDON Jan 9 UK business leaders, including
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and WPP chief
executive Martin Sorrell, warned Prime Minister David Cameron in
a letter to the Financial Times on Wednesday that he risks
hurting Britain's businesses if he proposes to exit the European
In the letter, 10 signatories said more EU reform was
urgently needed, but Britain had to be careful not to call for a
wholesale renegotiation of its membership.
"To call for such a move in these circumstances would be to
put our membership of the EU at risk and create damaging
uncertainty for British business, which are the last things the
prime minister would want to do," the letter said.
Other executives that signed the letter included Jan du
Plessis, chairman of miner Rio Tinto , British
Telecoms's chairman Michael Rake and Chris Gibson-Smith,
chairman of the London Stock Exchange.
Cameron, heeding growing Euroscepticism among British
voters, has said that he wants to revamp Britain's relationship
with Brussels and is expected to set out his intentions in a
speech later this month.
His increasingly vocal insistence on renegotiating terms
with the EU has raised concerns that Britain may be heading for
an exit, although Cameron has said he thinks Britain should
remain part of the EU.
On Tuesday, Ireland, which holds the presidency of the EU
for the next six months, urged Britain not to be too adversarial
in pushing for change in its relationship with the EU.