MP for Bea­cons­field, will be vot­ing re­main

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

IN this Ref­er­en­dum many peo­ple re­main un­de­cided. We have been bom­barded with claims and coun­ter­claims-of­ten ques­tion­able.

The choice we are be­ing asked to make is against a back­ground of deep un­cer­tainty over global is­sues rang­ing from mass mi­gra­tion and the vi­o­lence in the Mid­dle East, to a loss of con­fi­dence in western democ­ra­cies be­ing able to main­tain se­cu­rity, pros­per­ity and qual­ity of life for their cit­i­zens.

These are real con­cerns that can­not be ig­nored by politi­cians.

But noth­ing that I have heard per­suades me that we would be bet­ter off leav­ing.

For all the EU’s short­com­ings, our par­tic­i­pa­tion in it has over­all helped de­liver eco­nomic growth and so­cial progress in our coun­try, when you think of where we were when we joined in 1973. At present we are ben­e­fit­ting from very high lev­els of in­ward in­vest­ment (some £24 bil­lion a year) by virtue of be­ing able to ac­cess the Euro­pean sin­gle mar­ket and this is driv­ing our eco­nomic growth.

Those in favour of leav­ing want to re­move us from this mar­ket. We there­fore risk im­me­di­ate ad­verse eco­nomic con­se­quences from re­duced in­vest­ment which may put us into re­ces­sion and make it much harder for govern­ment to main­tain the rev­enue it needs to de­liver our pub­lic ser­vices.

The claims made for the ben­e­fits of leav­ing also ap­pear to me to be un­likely to be de­liv­ered. EU mi­gra­tion, for ex­am­ple, makes up less that half the to­tal. See­ing that those com­ing from the EU are over­whelm­ingly here to work (50,000 in our NHS alone), where will these work­ers be found if we re­strict their ac­cess?

I am also con­vinced that the well be­ing of our Euro­pean neigh­bours is key to our own. We should work with them to im­prove the EU and not take a step which has deeply un­pre­dictable con­se­quences for us all and is the very re­verse of the “quiet” govern­ment that politi­cians should strive to pro­vide.”

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