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Britain’S membership of the EU is one of the pull factors attracting big business to the Royal Borough, according to a multinational company and a business leader.
Hitachi, which employs 250 people at its Euro-pean headquarters in Lower Cookham Road, Maidenhead, says one of the reasons it based itself in Berkshire is because of Britain’s open EU links with the Continent.
A spokeswoman said: “Hitachi invested in the UK in order to access the whole of the EU market.
“Unimpeded access to the EU market is fundamental for our position in the UK. Whilst we recognise this is a decision for UK voters, from our overall business perspective, Hitachi hopes the referendum will result in a positive decision to remain in the EU. We believe that a united Europe with the UK in a single market will be better for prosperity in Europe as a whole and therefore for Hitachi’s business.”
Meanwhile, Olu Oden-iyi, Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce’s president and chairman, fears British businesses could suffer from a loss of trade if Britain left the union.
Shipping giant Maersk is due to move its London base to The Point in Market Street, near to where tech firm Adobe has an office.
Mr Odeniyi said multi-nationals will be less likely to put their Euro-pean roots down in Maidenhead and Britain if ties are severed.
He said: “How are they going to put European headquarters in Britain when Britain is not part of the EU?”
The telecoms and IT specialist, who has lived in Maidenhead since 1993, would like to see less
‘direction’ and red tape from Brussels, but fears leaving the union altogether will cause British exports to suffer, make it harder to do business on the Continent, and risk the country missing out on skilled employees.
He said: “Clearly the
argument for staying in the EU is, we want to be in their market, being part of it, deciding what the rules are.
“We need to be in it to win it.
“The major concern is we’d lose the influence and the fear is it becomes harder for us to do business in Europe.”
W COUNT ME IN: Olu Odeniyi wants Britain to
remain in the EU.
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The Met Office has issued a yellow alert for Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough and Wokingham, warning that rain moving eastwards across the south of the country may turn to snow in some places.