According to The Associated Press, a group of British banking chiefs, insurance bosses and entrepreneurs urged Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday (June 22) to safeguard British interests from European Union (EU) encroachment amid fears that the UK's dwindling influence in Brussels could adversely impact on British industry.
The 54 leaders, who said they together employ some 1 million people, argued in a letter to THE SUNDAY TIMES that red tape and plans in the EU to tax financial institutions "will continue to erode Britain's competitiveness in markets in which it has a unique global standing."
The letter comes amid a heated debate in Great Britain about its place in the 28-nation EU. The main political parties have been rattled by the rise of the euro-skeptic UK Independence Party, which advocates pulling Britain out of the EU and stopping the unfettered right of EU citizens to enter Britain.
COMMENT: Prime Minister Cameron has actively sought to block former Luxembourg leader Jean-Claude Juncker from becoming the president of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.
Britain opposes the veteran advocate of EU integration and is pushing for a vote should the Commission recommend Juncker.
Juncker is the candidate of conservatives who finished first in European Parliament elections, but Cameron has also cast him as epitomizing many of his objections with EU policies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she might consider concessions to Britain if they don't get their way on the presidency issue.