Oxford Brookes hosts EU Referendum business debate
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Last night (Wednesday 27 April) saw a debate on the EU Referendum take place on Oxford Brookes’ Headington Campus with attendance from dozens of local small and medium sized businesses.
by the European
Movement Oxford Region Branch, the event hosted by the University sought to
improve understanding and encourage debate.
This follows a Federation of Small Businesses survey
from February which found that “just over half of members…did not feel informed
about the EU referendum.”
Speaking on the case to Remain was Dinesh Dhamija, the founder, former
Chairman and CEO of Ebookers.com and founder of the Copper Beech Group.
Making the case to Leave was Garry Heath, the Director General of Libertatem and former
Director General of the IFA Association.
Attendees were also presented with research and analysis on
the implications of an EU Brexit for business from Nick Jeffrey who is Director of Public Policy at Grant Thornton
Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor Oxford
Brookes, hosted the debate after a request from a member of the Brookes Society who is in the European Movement Oxford Region Branch.
Speaking after the event, Professor Fitt said:
“We recognise that, like our own staff and students,
small and medium businesses will have a variety of views on the issues
surrounding the UK’s membership of the EU. As an academic institution, we
particularly welcome and encourage discussion on this vital decision. It is
therefore our policy that we welcome the holding
of debates on the EU Referendum on campus, but that they must not campaign for
just one side of the debate.
“We were therefore happy to host this event on our
Headington Campus and I have no doubt that all who attended will have learnt
more from the arguments put forward by both sides of the debate.”
Professor Fitt was one of 100
university leaders to write an open letter, published in the Sunday Times,
which argued the case for UK membership of the European Union enhancing the
positive impact of universities “on our economy, driving growth, generating
jobs and ultimately improving people’s lives”.