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Business fought for European membership in 1975. Where is it today?

As the political and business environments have changed, so have the risks for industry leaders speaking up

By Christopher Grey  

Phillip Allen, chief counting officer in 1975, in the operations room. Photo: PA

The news that the government will temporarily operate a slimmed down system of checks on goods entering the UK from the EU when transition ends may seem like a sign that it is listening to business concerns. Yet, in general, business has been neither very influential nor very vocal throughout the Brexit process.

This is in marked contrast to the high-profile and pivotal role it played in the 1975 referendum on whether to remain in…

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