JCB to quit UK business lobby group amid Brexit differences

October 11, 2016 8:00 AM EDT

A Union flag flies at the JCB factory in Uttoxeter, central England, March 3, 2015. Picture taken March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Staples

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(Reuters) - The maker of JCB diggers, one of the most prominent businesses to back Britain leaving the European Union, is leaving the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) lobby group, which opposed the country's "Brexit" vote in a June 23 referendum.

J C Bamford Excavators Ltd, one of the world's largest makers of construction equipment, said on Tuesday it was quitting the CBI, without giving a reason.

Sky News cited people familiar with the decision as saying it was a result of the CBI's stance on Brexit. (

"It’s always a shame to see any member leave the CBI, but we recognize that businesses have competing priorities and we respect that," a CBI spokesman said.

The CBI, which represents about 190,000 businesses, warned in March that Brexit could cost the UK economy 100 billion pounds ($124 billion) and 950,000 jobs by 2020.

JCB Chairman Anthony Bamford said in a letter to staff in June that "JCB and the UK can prosper just as much outside the EU, so there is very little to fear if we do choose to leave."

JCB employs around 12,000 people worldwide.

(Reporting by Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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