British business will not be harmed by a U.K. exit from the European Union, the leader of Britain’s eurosceptic U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) told CNBC — despite the latest survey showing the vast majority of manufacturers in favor of remaining in Europe.
“The fact is this country trades at a massive deficit with Europe. They sell us far more Mercedes and bottles of champagne than we sell them bottled beers and cars made here,” Farage told CNBC, adding, “They need us more than we need them.”
In a survey published Monday, U.K. manufacturing trade body EEF found that 85 percent of its members would vote to stay in the EU, with only 7 percent of companies voting to leave. The remaining 8 percent responded “don’t know.”
“Despite the continued challenges faced by the euro zone, manufacturers remain overwhelmingly of the view that our economic welbeing is inextricably linked to the EU and we must stay in membership,” EEF CEO Terry Sculoer said in a statement.
But Farage told CNBC the EEF was “just plain wrong.”
“You know, they are part of the big corporate set in Brussels,” Farage said. “They are dependent on Brussels to pick the crumbs from the table. They don’t want to show any opposition to it.”