Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Stephen Odell, Chief Executive of Ford Europe, said that by quitting the EU Britain would be “cutting its nose off to spite its face.”
He added: “I would strongly advise against leaving the EU for business purposes, and for employment purposes in the UK.”
Mr Odell said that while there was understandable concern about some of the rules and regulations coming from Brussels, the UK would still have to comply with many of these outside of the EU and that it was therefore better to push for reform from within.
Ford, which employs almost 15,000 people across the UK, is one of Britain’s largest foreign investors and manufacturers. A third of the world’s Ford engines are assembled at its plants in Bridgend and Dagenham.
London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford commented:
“We cannot ignore the message from major employers about the importance of the EU for jobs and growth. Yanking us out of Europe, as UKIP and many Conservatives would like to do, would risk seriously damaging Britain’s economy.
“Foreign investment would go down, unemployment would go up and Britain’s influence on the rules that matter to businesses would be seriously diminished.
“Liberal Democrats, as the Party of In, are committed to reforming the EU from within to make it work better for Britain. Our focus must be on creating jobs and sustaining the economic recovery, not throwing it all away by turning our back on our biggest trading partner.”