Chance of Britain leaving EU "5 percent at most" - Vince Cable

FRANKFURT Fri Dec 6, 2013 1:47pm GMT

Britain's Business Secretary Vince Cable speaks at the Liberal Democrats autumn conference in Glasgow, Scotland September 16, 2013. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Britain's Business Secretary Vince Cable speaks at the Liberal Democrats autumn conference in Glasgow, Scotland September 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Russell Cheyne

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The chances of Britain leaving the European Union are "very remote" and making that point clear would help boost investment, Business Secretary Vince Cable said on Friday.

Cable told an economic conference in Frankfurt that, despite growing debate in Britain leaving the EU, the likelihood of a such a move was low.

"If you are a business person quantifying risk, I would say maybe 5 percent risk. No more," he said. "There is a risk, but it is a small risk."

Economic ties between Britain and the EU were stronger than many realised, he said, noting that Britain was completely integrated into European supply chains.

Eliminating the concerns of businesses about Britain's commitment to Europe was important to boosting long-term investment, Cable said.

"We have got to remove the degree of political risk - the worries here in Germany - about a British exit," he told Reuters in a separate interview. "We have got to calm people down."

Cable said the British government was helping to support investment by making the tax regime more friendly to companies, but that it needed to do more to improve clarity on regulation, notably in areas such as energy.

"The electricity market review is beginning to take shape. Wind energy producers like Siemens were waiting for clarity in that policy," he said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Eva Taylor; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (5)
tanjo wrote:
I’d put the odds on the UK exiting the EU even lower than Dr Cable! The idea of the UK as some ‘freebooting’ international trading entity crewed by UKIP is pure fantasy.
If it did come about we’d soon be running to Uncle Sam to save us from disaster.

Dec 06, 2013 5:11pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
mgb500 wrote:
“If you are a business person quantifying risk, I would say maybe 5 percent risk. No more,” he said. “There is a risk, but it is a small risk.”

Try putting that question to us peasants – you’ll find it’s greater, much greater than 5%!!

Dec 06, 2013 5:46pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
I must admit that after hearing the ludicrous moral absolutism regarding soldier A, I really dont give a damn if the UK is politically controlled via Brussels and Strasbourg or not.

Quite frankly dear I dont give a damn about the UK anyway…

Why anyone would want to fight for it,(and lift a weapon in the name of the Crown) is totally incomprehensible!

Dec 06, 2013 10:48pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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