The Leave.EU campaign attacked claims by John McFarlane of Barclays and Sir Mike Rake of BT that an EU exit would hurt the economy as “scaremongering from people with vested interests and a poor track record of prediction on Europe”.
Leave.EU spokesman Jack Montgomery pointed out that John McFarlane was chairman of the European Financial Services Round Table, which wields enormous lobbying power in Brussels.
“His bank is taking advantage of EU rules on Free Movement of Capital to run an ‘industrial scale’ tax-avoidance programme worth £1.4 billion through its fourteen-man Luxembourg office.*
“Of course he isn’t going to speak out against an EU which, according to the head of the British Bankers’ Association’s challenger bank panel, rigs the system against the smaller lender and in favour of ‘Too Big to Fail’ multi-nationals like Barclays.”
Trade Unionists Against the EU spokesman Brian Denny also pointed out that Sir Mike Rake had a long and unapologetic history of getting it wrong on Europe, having said in 2003 that ‘the risks of staying outside the euro far outweigh any risks of joining’.
“Ten years on and with Greece on its knees, he remains unrepentant, appearing alongside Alistair Campbell to declare ‘I’m a Europhile [and] I’m probably one of the few people left standing who still believes in the Euro in this country’.
“We shouldn’t be taking lectures from economically illiterate bankers and big business chancers that want this country to join the Euro and support the fundamentally undemocratic structures of the EU,” he said.