By Daniel Hunter

John Cridland, the CBI director-general, has told the Financial Times that he is a “European realist”, as business digests news of David Cameron’s proposed in-out referendum on Britain and the EU.

Mr Cridland said he would take a pragmatic approach to the UK’s future relationship with a new Europe in an article in today’s FT.

The CBI chief highlighted that UK business could emerge from the coming years with a much improved relationship with the continent, with potential benefits including an EU-US trade deal.

He said: “If we are skilful and play our cards right, there are huge opportunities for a better Europe for British business, a Europe that we can sell to the British public.”

And asked whether the CBI would support remaining in Europe in a referendum, Mr Cridland said: “It would be very difficult to conceive of a situation where we would do the opposite.”

Also in today’s FT, Mr Cridland urged the government to invest more in capital projects, saying it should be possible to “dig a bit deeper”.

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