Don't say Tata to the EU
Tata likes Britain being in the EU but will anyone listen?
With all eyes on China, the issue of the UK’s place in the EU has been less prominent in recent weeks. However, another indication of big businesses’ view on the subject comes this morning, with Tata Sons Group Executive Council Member Nirmarlya Kumar saying that Tata’s UK operations benefit from being part of the EU. Speaking to the BBC Kumar pointed to simpler export regulations and a lack of import duties as key benefits.
Kumar’s intervention is significant for two reasons. Firstly, he is one of the most senior figures within the Tata Group and reports directly to Cyrus Mistry, Tata Group Chairman. Mistry is responsible for the group’s strategy and it is unlikely Kumar would comment without Mistry’s blessing. Secondly, Tata has a significant presence in the UK, employing 65,000 people in the country, and its views will undoubtedly attract government attention. However, with the UK already committed to a referendum and staunch opponents of the EU unlikely to be swayed by any arguments, whether these types of practical interventions will have any impact on more emotional concerns is a matter of debate.