Tesco share price: Group and fellow grocers refuse to sign anti-Brexit letter

on Feb 23, 2016
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Tesco (LON:TSCO) and its peers J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) and Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) have refused to sign a letter from business leaders calling for Britain to remain in the EU, the Guardian has reported. The country’s biggest supermarket argues that the choice over the UK’s membership is one for the British people.

Tesco’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having shed 2.49 percent to 180.05p as of 14:45 GMT. The shares are underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.28 percent lower at 6,021.11 points. Over the past year, the grocer’s shares have lost a quarter of their value, as compared with a 12.9-percent dip in the Footsie.
The Guardian reported today that Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons had declined to sign a letter which says that the UK would be “better off staying in a reformed European Union”. The decision to write the letter, signed by the chair or chief executive of about a third of the businesses on the FTSE 100 index, follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that the government will set a 23 June date for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

“The referendum on EU membership is a decision for the people of Britain,” the Guardian quoted Tesco as saying in a statement. “Whatever that decision is, our focus will continue to be on serving customers.” The newspaper noted that the grocers were believed to be unwilling to risk upsetting shoppers who will vote in the referendum by taking a position on the matter.
Sainsbury’s and Morrisons operate exclusively in the UK, while Tesco is one of the largest supermarket chains in Ireland and is also heavily involved in Central and Eastern Europe, having stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, all of which are EU countries.
As of 15:31 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February, Tesco PLC share price is 179.47p.

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