There was a warm welcome at Stationers' Hall today for a dozen or so Trade Association CEOs who had come to hear Dr Denis MacShane talk about the prospects for the UK in the event of a 'Brexit'.
Dr MacShane was Member of Parliament for Rotherham from 1994 to his resignation in 2012 and Labour Government Minister of State for Europe from 2002 until 2005. Dr MacShane, who is a self-declared pro -European was able to inform the audience based on his research for his recent book 'Brexit: How Britain will Leave Europe'. There are two strands to the arguments for and against Britain leaving the EU: the pragmatic (the damage leaving will, or will not, do to business) and the emotional (the importance or remaining British as compared to the need to be international and not parochial). Most of the Trade Association CEOs kept their cards quite close to their chests but they were all actively considering how best to help their members (and their members' employees) focus on the arguments in order to be ready for the referendum. A very interesting session.
In the image you will see from left to right: David Newell, The News Media Association; Michael Gardner, BOSS Federation; Tom Bowtell, British Coatings Federation; Richard Little, Processing and Packaging Machinery Association; Charles Jarrold, BPIF; Liveryman Tim Webb; Chris Pateman, Federation of Communication Services, The Master; Dr Denis MacShane; Court Assistant Tony Mash; Marian Stefani, Independent Printing Industries Association; Dick Searle, Packaging Federation; Bettine Pellant, Picon; Debbie Waldron-Hoines EFIA and Sydney Bobb, BAPC.