Bosses Demand Clarity On EU Campaign Rules

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 8:42 PM

Some executives are warning that they'll stay out of the EU debate amid confusion over campaign rules, Sky News learns.

Bosses Demand Clarity On EU Campaign Rules

The bosses of some of Britain'south biggest companies are warning that they may refrain from further interventions in the debate about Europe amid concerns that they risk falling foul of strict campaign rules.

Sky News understands that the Electoral Commission will publish new guidance on Monday setting out the scope of activities permissible for businesses once the referendum period formally begins on Friday.

The decision to issue the updated rules comes after groups including the CBI warned the regulator that existing guidelines were mired in confusion.

The CBI, which has decided it'll not register as a campaigning organisation and will therefore be subject to a £10.000 spending limit, will nevertheless continue to argue the case for the UK'south continued membership of the European Union (EU).

However, a no of executives at companies which signed a pro-EU letter in Feb declare privately that they'd not repeat the move after the referendum clock begins ticking this week.

That may arrive as a disappointment to Downing Str officials, who sources declare have stepped up their efforts in recent weeks to persuade private sector bosses to set out the risks of Brexit.

A spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission told Sky News: "The guidance (to be published on Monday) will allow an overview of how the referendum spending rules may apply to the activities of businesses during the referendum period, and will cover things love annual reports, professional advice to clients, surveys and events."

The compliance departments of some investment banks operating in London have issued guidance about what might be deemed to constitute campaign action below electoral law, but newspaper reports that one bank had banned the utilize of the duration Brexit were dismissed as inaccurate.

The CBI, Britain's biggest employers' group, is arguing that leaving the EU would pose grave risks to the UK economy, and recently published a survey showing that the majority of its members are in favour of staying in.

A CBI spokesman said: "The CBI'south role is to reflect our members' views of the economic and business implications of the EU referendum.

"We don't intend to register and are in regular contact with the Electoral Commission to create sure the business voice is heard in the right way."

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