Read the article below or over at The Express
A NEW business lobby group that is positively pro-Brexit has been launched, called the cross-party Foundation for Independence, it promises to provide an “alternative, post-Brexit voice”.
he launch of the new business lobby group comes after pro-remain CBI is sidelined by Boris Johnson Leading Brexiteer businessmen have launched a new “voice for business” intended to rival a prominent lobby group criticised by senior ministers. John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, and John Mills, the founder of JML, said the new network would provide an “alternative, post-Brexit voice” after the CBI spent months campaigning for the closest possible relationship with the EU.
The cross-party Foundation for Independence will test the views of firms using online surveys, and help to “hold the Government’s feet to the fire” on Brexit, Mr Mills said.
It’s founders said the body would campaign for comprehensive free trade deals with the EU and US and challenge attempts by pro-Remain groups to undermine the Brexit process.
The launch of the new group comes after Boris Johnson neglected to invite the CBI and other business lobby groups to his flagship speech on Britain’s future trading relationships last month.
Allies of the Prime Minister said the CBI, which campaigned against Brexit during the 2016 referendum, was still “fighting past battles” and has refused to accept Mr Johnson’s determination to break away from EU rules.
Under Boris Johnson, a weekly meeting at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the so-called ‘big five’ trade bodies, including the CBI, has become a larger, monthly gathering with other groups.
Last night Mr Longworth, who was a Brexit Party MEP until December and will chair the foundation, said: “When, in future, No 10 wants to speak to a constructive business voice, they will know where to come.”
The new body will be run by Brendan Chilton, a pro-Leave Labour activist.
Daniel Hodson the former chief executive of the then Liffe derivatives exchange, who was honorary chairman of the Business for Britain campaign, has been appointed as vice chairman.
On Friday it emerged that Nissan, the Japanese car manufacturer, is to invest £400 million in its Sunderland plant despite earlier warnings that Brexit would prompt the firm to divert funds to other countries.
Writing for The Telegraph website, Mr Longworth and Mr Mills, also pledge to hold the Government to account following its pledges to deliver on the promises of the official Vote Leave campaign, which Mr Mills, a former Labour donor, briefly chaired.
They add: “We are conscious too that there are many businesses in this country who did support Brexit and that at present their voice is not heard in the country’s business institutions and representative bodies.
“The CBI, Chamber of Commerce and FSB, Federation Of Small Business, all tacitly or explicitly supported Remain and have pressed over the past few years to secure us as closely as possible to the EU.