Cameron in his Bloomberg speech sought to influence the reform debate and help shape the prosperous future he promised within the EU.
Sadly, three years on his confident and upbeat commitments have turned into empty promises. He promised us a very different relationship with the EU but has not delivered.
Like many people, the business community is divided between those who cling to the EU because in the belief that the devil you know is better than one you dont.
But increasingly, there are those who are confident that there is a much better alternative. Businesses who believe we must take back control of our destiny and empower the British people to once again make the decisions affecting their future.
The damp squib which was the renegotiation has actually accelerated the trend to Leave.
It is clear that the people leading the hundreds of thousands of British owned businesses which are the backbone of the UK economy employing millions of people and supporting millions more will be hugely influential in the referendum.
There is a myth that following Brexit and outside the EU Britain would not be able to trade profitably with EU and its place and role in the world would be diminished – the so-called Fear Factor.
Lets have a look at the facts.
Each year the UK pays a ‘membership fee’ to the EU of just under £20bn (£55m a day) (of which the East of England accounts for some £2bn). The EU then decides how and where some of this comes back to the UK.
If we had control over this money and could spend it on our priorities – our universities, help for farmers, improving infrastructure such as the road and rail network, the broadband network or on the NHS in East Anglia.
Civitas have show that over the period of its membership the UK has performed no better than a peer group of non-EU OECD countries. In fact, since the introduction of the ‘single market’ by the Maastricht treaty the UK has performed worse.
There is nothing to show for the huge cost of EU membership.
So what does the UK post Brexit have to be afraid of? We will be the single biggest export market for the EU and, rest assured, German carmakers, French winemakers and Italian designers will not allow politics to get in the way of turnover.
We are ready to trade with the single market so there will be tough negotiations but we will have huge savings ‘in the kitty’ to ensure our exporters are no worse off.
As the 5th biggest world economy we can get on with deals with India, China, and elsewhere without having to appease 27 other countries. This is what most businesses want us to do.