Vincent de Rivaz (pictured), CEO of energy giant EDF, has come out in favour of Britain remaining in the EU in a letter to the firm’s 13,500 UK employees.
“I believe the choice is between the irreversible step of leaving or keeping our options open by remaining and seeking to improve what is not working,” he said. “The challenge and opportunity is to ask how this family can work better together, for the greater good of all.”
He said that as a member of the EU, Britain is “in a position to benefit from the best of the two worlds, leading from inside, not from behind”.
And he added that Chinese investment in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power project in the UK had been predicated on it being “a strategic partnership with the UK and with France”.
“The European dimensions of this project have been very important to China’s decision to commit,” he said.
The Vote Leave campaign, which advocates Britain’s exit from the EU, reportedly called de Rivaz’s remarks “entirely unsurprising” due to EDF’s French ownership.
EDF supplies around one-fifth of the UK’s power and Hinkley Point C would add another 7 per cent.
De Rivaz noted that, although the final investment decision on Hinkley will be made after the referendum, plans for the plant would go forward whatever the result.
The referendum is scheduled for Thursday.