"A vote to 'Remain' is a vote for an outward-looking, confident Britain"by David Lidington / June 22, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Brexiting yourself in the foot
The United Kingdom is a European country with global interests and influence. Tomorrow’s vote on our membership of the EU is not a choice between Europe and the rest of the world. We need both. Being in the EU has made our country better off and has strengthened our security. Leaving would put that at risk.
Inside the EU, British companies can treat 500 million people in 28 countries—the biggest and richest trading bloc in the world—as their home market. Nearly half our aerospace exports, more than 40 per cent of car exports, and a third of financial services exports go to Europe. Europe includes seven of our ten biggest export markets for food and drink.
Big and small firms alike benefit. Just under a quarter of small and medium-sized enterprises either export directly to the EU or are in a European supply chain. Trade is tariff-free, with just one set of product standards, inspections and paperwork instead of 28.
By the way, the OECD’s analysis shows Britain inside the EU having the least burdensome business regulations of any developed economy except the Netherlands—also in the EU!
Of course the EU isn’t perfect. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. All the alternatives to EU membership involve tariffs, quotas and more bureaucracy and paperwork—a killer for trade and jobs. Worse, UK companies trading or in supply chains with the EU would still have to follow European rules, even though Britain would have no say in making them.
Because we are in the EU Single Market, companies from around the world, from carmakers to banks, have set up shop here. Japanese and American companies are clear: “Leave” the EU and not only will Britain not get that investment in future, but many jobs here already will be at risk.
I’m used to seeing vigorous argument among economic experts but on this issue the consensus is…