Work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb is calling on the financial services sector to “make the case” for the Remain vote to get it “across the line” ahead of the EU referendum.
Speaking at an ABI dinner this week, the Tories’ replacement for Iain Duncan Smith – a vocal Brexit supporter – urged firms to warn their employees of the risk of a vote to leave.
He said: “As part of the debate over the past few months and weeks, we have sought to explain how the single market is crucial for our economy.
“Companies like Rolls-Royce and Airbus have taken on the responsibility of telling their employees how their businesses could be affected by leaving the single market. At this stage of the campaign for many workers the views of their employer will carry far more weight than those of any politician.
“You, the employers of the UK’s burgeoning financial services sector, need to make a similar case. This sector needs the EU as much as our aerospace and automotive sectors, and is just as vital to the UK economy. Financial services account for 12 per cent of our GDP, and help to rebalance the economy.”
As the vote nears the ABI has been increasingly vocal in backing a vote to remain in the EU.
Crabb added: “If we leave the single market, we also put at risk jobs in the high value insurance sector, which our membership of the single market helps to support.
“Britain is looked up to in Europe as a global centre of excellence. That reputation helps us exert major influence and shape the rules of the EU, and protect the interests of British financial services. That is at risk if we take this leap in the dark, this throw of the dice which quitting the single market would involve.
“As business leaders, I would encourage and urge you to help get the ‘remain’ vote across the line in these crucial last days.”