The Shadow Europe Minister has hailed comments by a senior executive of India’s Tata Group who spoke of the importance of Britain’s continued membership of the European Union for international investors.
Nirmalya Kumar – an executive council member of Tata Sons, which owns such iconic British brands such as Jaguar Land Rover and Tetley Tea – told the BBC that it was important for companies such as Tata to invest on the understanding that those companies in turn have access to European markets as well.
“It’s not rocket science”, Mr Kumar said.
“The fact is that for our British operations being part of the EU makes it easier for them to have market access and many of our investments in the past have been based on that understanding,” he added.
Labour’s Europe Minister Pat McFadden said he supported Mr Kumar’s view, adding that pulling out of the EU would be a bad decision as it would affect jobs, trade and investment in the UK.
“It’s important to show leadership on these issues and not allow Britain to volunteer to be marginalised”, Mr McFadden said.
“Many jobs are on the line here, as well as our influence in the world. It’s in the interests of our economy and our workers to be part of the EU, taking advantage of the trade and investment opportunities membership gives us’’, the Labour MP added.
The Tata group is one of the biggest overseas investors in Britain, with combined revenues in the UK of more than £25 billion.
The company also employs 65,000 across Britain.
In his BBC interview, Mr Kumar said: “Britain has always been for Indians a relatively easy place to do business. We speak the language, we have historical links, we have known British people all our lives.’’
However, he said that the decision to be a part of Europe was ultimately up to the British people.
“It is for the British government and the British people to decide what they want to do. We as a business focus on what we can control, which is our strategy, our ability to deliver globally”, Mr Kumar said.