Press Release: A Waterloo moment for the UK and EU

The following is a press release issued this morning in light of this week’s summit on EU Reforms proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron. This is the chambers view on UK Reforms and the Brexit issue, echoed by our members.

The new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union: An Opportunity for Europe, an Opportunity for the UK.

  • We call for a speedy agreement that works for both the EU and the UK: a prolonged period of uncertainty is the worst possible outcome for businesses.
  • We believe that the referendum is a major opportunity to give new momentum to the EU.
  • A clear majority of our members believe the UK should remain in the EU.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (British Chamber) is looking forward to this week’s summit reaching a deal which works for the United Kingdom (UK) and the rest of the European Union (EU). An agreement that works for all sides would clear the way for the UK to make up its mind with a vote in June. As far as our businesses are concerned, a prolonged period of uncertainty is the worst possible outcome.

Thomas Spiller British Chamber President commented: “Waiting longer to move forward on the UK referendum means further uncertainty. A vote to leave would add to this; we believe this would be bad for the UK, bad for Europe, and bad for business.”

A clear majority of our members believe the UK should remain in the EU. UK EU membership is vital to the future of both.

Being a member of the EU brings major benefits to Britain but the outcome of the referendum is not just important for the UK; it is also critically important for the future of the EU. The UK makes a major contribution to the EU, helping shape it into a more competitive Europe and a truly global player.

We believe the referendum offers a major opportunity to give a new momentum to the European Union, enabling it to better serve business and Europe’s citizens and work equally for all its members, both inside and outside of the Eurozone.

Glenn Vaughan Chief Executive of the British Chamber said: “Our members believe the EU is making good progress on the issues that matter to business, like the single market, trade and the focus on the enforcement of existing EU law. Building on the Better Regulation programme, the referendum offers an opportunity to renew the EU, making it more competitive, dynamic and a Europe of opportunity for all its citizens.”

Spiller added: “This is a Waterloo moment for both Europe and the UK.”


About the British Chamber:

The British Chamber is built on a tradition of over 100 years of continuous service to the international business community in Belgium. Today our membership includes over 250 commercial organisations representing over 5000 participating individuals and collectively employing over 125 000 people in Belgium, over 1 600 000 in the UK and over 7 000 000 globally.

The British Chamber is unique: an international network that connects your business with other businesses, a wide spectrum of national and European policymakers, and customers and clients.

We value openness and a welcoming ambience, an international and entrepreneurial outlook, and a flexible and informal approach. But above all we have a crystal clear focus on helping you to achieve your business objectives and ensure that the British Chamber is truly ‘Your International Network’

For further information, please contact:

Uzma Lodhi

Head of Communications

D +32 (0)2 613 28 55

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