By Daniel Hunter

John Cridland, the CBI director-general, has reiterated his call for a reasoned approach to Britain’s relationship with the European Union ahead of David Cameron’s speech on the subject in Amsterdam today (Friday).

“We need to recognise and adapt to the realities of the multi-speed Europe which is emerging,” Mr Cridland said.

“The fallout in the Eurozone from the debt crisis is not just forcing through rapid political and financial integration. It is also forcing all countries to fundamentally rethink the EU’s wider purpose and deal urgently with the sort of structural flaws Europe has ignored for decades.

“We must tread very carefully though. The debate about our future in Europe in 2013 must be based on an informed, hard-headed analysis of where our long-term economic and financial interests lie and business will need to make its voice heard.

“We need global trade deals to drive growth and create jobs, especially when the domestic economy is growing more slowly than required. Businesses don’t want the baby thrown out with the bathwater — not with 50% of our exports heading to Europe.

“The UK has ensured its values of free and open trade have been at the heart of Europe over the last 40 years, helping to create one of the biggest successes of the European Union — the Single Market. It’s essential we stay at the table to bang the drum for businesses and defend our national interest, particularly protecting our world-class financial services industry to maintain our competitiveness internationally.”

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