British retailers and designers have signed a letter supporting the campaign to keep the UK in the European Union, ahead of the referendum on June 23.
A letter published by The Britain Stronger in Europe campaign shows the support of designers Vivienne Westwood, Bella Freud and Patrick Grant, as well as retailers including The Dune Group.
Access to different markets in the EU, funding and free movement are among the reasons to stay, according to the letter.
It said 56% of all overseas trade in the creative sector is done in Europe, and the country has been benefiting from the European Commission’s €80m (£62m) Horizon 2020 innovation fund, which gives money to various creative initiatives.
Another letter showed support from former Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland, Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire, and the former bosses of Tesco and Sainsbury’s Sir Terry Leahy and Justin King.
The letter said: “In the UK we have strong and sophisticated supply chain relationships across Europe, integrated in a way they never were in the past. At the moment there are no barriers to trade within the EU. In trading with the rest of the world, all sorts of rules and tariffs get in the way.
A vote to exit would necessitate a complete renegotiation of our trading arrangements, which can only be of detriment to UK consumers. We can also expect our trading partners to exploit this renegotiation to their benefit.”