Exclusive: Big Labour donor John Mills explains why he’s bankrolling the campaign to leave the EU

The JML founder is one of three major political donors to bankroll the Brexit campaign

Millionaire businessman John Mills has put his money behind the campaign to leave the EU, saying he is “disappointed” with lack of renegotiation.

The Labour donor has joined Peter Cruddas, who is one of the biggest Tory donors, and Stuart Wheeler, who has bankrolled UKIP, to become joint treasurer for the campaign.

LondonLovesBusiness caught up with him to find out why he feels so strongly about leaving the EU.

 “I am very disappointed by the lack of any fundamental reform in prospect from the current renegotiation of our EU terms of membership,” he said.

“Without much more radical changes than seem at all likely now, I think the UK would be better off leaving the EU than staying within it.”

He called for business to get behind the campaign and make their voices heard.

“Ultimately, of course, it is voters rather than businesses which have to decide our future with the EU, but clearly businesses have a very important role to play in shaping public opinion on whether we would be better off inside or outside the EU.”

It is rumoured the organisation aims to raise £13m in the run up to the start of the official campaign period in order to build momentum. Once this starts, the campaign will only be able to raise and spend a further £7m, and all donations will need to be declared.

“Money is important and there are enough people who feel strongly about the disadvantages of our EU membership for us to be confident that we will be able to raise the sums needed to fight a really effective campaign,” Mills said.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Good to see wealthy and successful businessmen contradicting the lie that we will be worse off if we leave the EU. Putting their money where their mouth is!

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  • Use to be in favour of the EU but it seems to be undemocratic, inefficient and corrupt. Reminds me of FIFA great goals but let down by those that run it!

    What would be better is a relationship similar to what Norway has with the EU or the old EFTA organisation - a free trade area

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  • How will Britain be better off if it leaves the EU??? Britain burned it's bridges with its commonwealth trading partners long ago many of whom are now big economies in their own right and which we would have benefited from mutual trading agreements. Britain in many ways was seen as head of the Commonwealth and could have focused its trading more internationally. All of that was given up to join the EU market where Britain remains a bit player in an economy increasingly tailored for and dominated by Germany. It's now too late as the rest of the world has moved on, Britain's manufacturing base has more or less been swallowed up and spat out by the German economic machine. It's locally allocated role is as the financial and shopping mall of Europe. There's really nowhere to go outside Europe and there is hardly anything to export from these shores that can't be gotten for a dime in China or Malaysia. Best for Britain to stay in Europe and survive as a regional bit-player

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