Christopher Nieper writes letter to employees urging them to vote in EU referendum



To: David Nieper UK employees and David Nieper Academy and Education Trust.

16th June, 2016


EU Referendum

Our company has become a sought after battleground for the forthcoming EU referendum. We are a long term British fashion manufacturer and employer with significant European sales. We have staff in the EU, we buy fabrics in the EU and we have 50,000 private customers in the EU.

Media coverage from our factory during the month of May alone has reached over 18 million British people and this has included televised visits from:

Remain:  Anna Soubry MP (Conservative) Minister of state for small business, Industry and Enterprise, and Alan Johnson MP (Labour) former home secretary, leader of Labour IN

Leave:      Boris Johnson MP (Conservative) former London Mayor and Gisela Stuart MP (Labour) chair of Vote leave

This referendum is important, more important than general elections so please allow me to share some thoughts. As a 55 year old private company we are in the fortunate position of being able to take a long term view. We are focused on the sustainability of your jobs and British enterprise in the long term. We are not concerned by ‘the morning after’ June 23rd.

Over the last two months we’ve seen the highest fashion sales ever in our 55 year history from both the UK and Europe, the last few weeks in particular have been exceptional for German sales. There is no sign of any slowdown or lack of customer confidence despite the media talking about financial apocalypse. I’ve even asked our European staff and unanimously they assure me a Brexit would, in their opinion make no difference to trade. Customers will continue to buy because they choose British design, British made and British quality.

When we joined the EU in 1975 the 8 member States made up 31% of World trade, today all 28 EU members make up just 17%. The EU is shrinking and the rest of the world is growing. In 1975 we didn’t vote to give our sovereignty to Brussels or for them to make our laws, we didn’t vote for it to be so expensive and didn’t vote for the 700,000 pages of red tape which they have since written. The burden and the cost of our EU membership has in my view, simply become too high. Our future and Britain’s long term future as the 5th largest economy in the world doesn’t depend on our membership of the EU.

I will be voting to leave on June 23rd, how you vote is entirely up to you but please do take the opportunity to cast your vote whichever way you decide.

Whatever happens it will be business as usual for us and I’m confident we will continue to trade successfully in Europe and continue to invest in local skills and education. If the British people vote to Leave they have nothing to fear except fear itself.

It’s the quality of our people which matters in the long term and it’s you who make us a world class organisation.



Managing Director