Ryanair Eu Referendum
Ryanair's CEO has called for the UK public to oppose a Brexit Reuters

Budget airline Ryanair has called for a "remain" vote in Britain's European Union referendum on 23 June. At a press conference in London on 24 February, the Irish carrier said it remained committed to supporting the campaign in favour of Britain remaining in the EU as it will lead more jobs and better economic growth for the UK.

Remaining part of the 28-country bloc would allow Britain to continue to benefit from the free movement of goods and services that has made the UK one of Europe's most competitive and best performing economies, it continued.

"Ryanair is absolutely clear that the UK economy and its future growth are stronger as a member of the European Union than they are outside the EU," said group chief executive Michael O'Leary.

"Leaving Europe won't save the UK money or red tape because, like Norway, the UK will still have to contribute to Europe and obey its roles if it wants to continue trade freely with Europe, so it's clear UK voters should vote yes to Europe and yes to the reformed Europe that David Cameron has delivered."

O'Leary added the budget airline, which has not been affected by the recent slump in the pound, will actively campaign in favour of Britain remaining in the EU, by running ads on newspapers and on its own website, and warned foreign investment would be lost to Ireland and Germany in the event of a Brexit.

"We're going to bore everyone to death with this message over the next four months," he said.

"A Brexit on its own won't cause airfares to rise, but it is more likely the economy of the UK will be damaged and negotiating better tax rates will be more challenging."

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's chief marketing officer, told IBTimes the campaign will not be limited to British citizens leaving in the UK as it will also target Britons leaving abroad.

"There are some 2.5m British citizens living in the EU and we expect the majority of them to be voting at the referendum in June," he said.

Ryanair's announcement of its pro-EU stance came as the airline unveiled its latest expansion plans, which include five new routes and seven new winters services from its London airports as well as more flights on 11 other routes as it aims to grow its London traffic by 10%.