UK needs to re­main in EU

Warwickshire Telegraph - - LETTERS -

THE Euro­pean Union ref­er­en­dum on June 23 is of huge im­por­tance. The con­se­quences of vot­ing to turn our backs on Europe would be se­ri­ous. The stakes are high and the ques­tions I hear re­peat­edly on the doorstep are:

What is best for me and my fam­ily? What is in our na­tional in­ter­est? What sort of coun­try do I want Bri­tain to be in the 21st cen­tury?

Bri­tain built our econ­omy through sus­tained en­gage­ment with the rest of the world. We are a trad­ing na­tion that helped build the in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions that con­trib­ute to peace and pros­per­ity – the United Na­tions, NATO and the Euro­pean Union.

Be­ing part of the Euro­pean Union makes our econ­omy stronger. To­day, half of ev­ery­thing we sell to the rest of the world we sell to Europe. In 2014 our ex­ports were worth £226 bil­lion and we re­ceive an av­er­age of £26.5 bil­lion of in­vest­ment into Bri­tain ev­ery year from EU coun­tries. Up to three mil­lion jobs in the UK are linked to the Euro­pean Union and a fur­ther 790,000 could be cre­ated by 2030 through open­ing up mar­kets in tourism, dig­i­tal ser­vices and en­ergy. The av­er­age fam­ily saves around £450 a year due to lower prices be­cause we be­long to the big­gest con­sumer mar­ket in the world.

Mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union is good for our na­tional se­cu­rity. It pro­vides an in­te­grated ap­proach to polic­ing and jus­tice that bet­ter tack­les the crimes that recog­nise no bor­ders. Mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union guar­an­tees im­por­tant rights at work. The So­cial Con­tract en­sures that work­ers are treated fairly and that the sin­gle mar­ket can never be­come a race to the bot­tom.

Of course the EU needs to be re­formed. Our mem­ber­ship means that we can have a voice and work to strengthen these pro­tec­tions in the fu­ture. The most ef­fec­tive way to re­form an in­sti­tu­tion is through ex­pla­na­tion, per­sua­sion, build­ing al­liances, mak­ing friends – not by walk­ing away. That’s not be­ing run by Europe. That’s mak­ing Europe work for us. I am cam­paign­ing and vot­ing to Re­main on June 23. I hope you will join me.

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