As the last day of campaigning over EU membership gets underway, hundreds of executives, including directors from half the FTSE 100 companies, have signed a letter backing the UK's membership. As David Pollard reports, Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's biggest carmaker, has also reportedly estimated its annual profit could be cut by £1 bln by the end of the decade if Britain leaves.
The campaigns draw to a close ahead of Britain's Brexit vote. But not quite yet the appeals. As British business - or at least a chunk of it - puts its views into headlines. This letter to The Times newspaper - urging Britain to remain - was signed by over half of FTSE 100 companies and twelve hundred business leaders. A last-minute show of unity that could touch a nerve with some voters. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, MATTHEW BEESLEY, SAYING: "For those that have been swayed by the economic arguments, this will be re-enforcing. For those who have been very much focussed on the non economic arguments ... this letter will be of no consequence at all." Of consequence to Jaguar Land Rover is a possible hit to revenues. The UK's biggest carmaker fears it could lose one billion pounds in annual profits by 2020 - if Britain leaves. Last year's pre-tax profit was 1.6 billion pounds. Two sources also told Reuters JLR might put work on a plant in Slovakia on hold - and put off some UK leasing deals. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, MATTHEW BEESLEY, SAYING: "The risk is that the UK economy gets caught in a no-man's land - leaving the European Union in the event of a Leave decision, and so unable to be active in the European Union and unable to influence the European Union's outcome, but equally unable to control its own destiny either, given the limbo that it would sit in." Tuesday also saw the last major televised debate between the two sides. Despite some heated exchanges, that too apparently doing little to sway the British public one way or the other - in what's still predicted to be a neck-and-neck referendum vote.