Prime Minister David Cameron held a meeting with top retail bosses behind closed doors last week as he looked to gain support over the EU referendum.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis and Sainsbury’s Mike Coupe were among retail chiefs invited to Downing Street last Tuesday to discuss the EU referendum, according to the Mail on Sunday. Representatives from Asda, Marks & Spencer, Boots and Dixons Carphone all attended the meeting.
The retail chiefs also pressed the government on business rates and the impact of the national living wage, the newspaper reports.
A source said of the summit: ”The discussion was around the business climate. Business rates was a key focus of the meeting, but as you can imagine other pressures on the retail sector such as the chancellor’s [George Osborne’s] living wage were discussed.”
Many retailers have avoided wading into the Brexit debate, although Next boss Lord Wolfson revealed at the weekend that he is backing the campaign to leave the European Union. Writing in The Times on Saturday, he said: “Over the next four months people will debate the economic pros and cons of Brexit. On balance, I think we will be better off out.”