Harriett Baldwin MP: Why Britain is Stronger, Safer and Better Off in a reformed Europe than out on our own
Guest Blogger, 12 May 2016
I chose to get involved in politics to keep Britain out of the euro.
But I will vote to Remain in the EU on June 23rd because we have secured a special status within the EU, giving Britain the best of both worlds.
We will never sign up to the Euro.
We did not sign up to the no-borders Schengen area on mainland Europe.
We have an opt-out from the EU’s quota scheme for asylum-seekers and Eurozone bailouts.
David Cameron secured a deal to end Ever Closer Union. We will never join a country called Europe, but we will enjoy the advantages of tariff free trade.
Our access to the free trade Single Market of 500 million people is key to over 3 million jobs in the UK, including many here.
We can travel without visas to live, study, work and visit other EU countries and many local residents do so. There are over a million of our friends, neighbours and family living in the EU. When we are there, we can use our free EHIC card to get health care.
Our economy is bigger because we are members of the Single Market. Leaving would mean job losses and a drop in foreign investment. It would mean tariffs for our food producers, tariffs for our manufacturers and uncertainty for our farmers.
Yes, we do pay a net contribution to the EU budget which the Independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says is 24p per person per day. In return we have had £1 Billion of foreign direct investment each week for the last decade from companies around the world. Three quarters of it comes here because we are in the EU. We get tax revenues that are £36 Billion higher, paying for our NHS and schools.
Yes there are rules in the Single Market, but being a member of the EU means we have a vote on those rules and can influence them. We also have a UK Commissioner in Brussels.
A vote to leave is a vote for risk, a vote for job losses, a vote to be poorer, a vote for a leap in the dark.
A vote to leave is irreversible and would mean we have to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty right away. We would have no say on the outcome the other 27 countries choose to offer us. One thing’s for sure: EU countries will not offer us a better deal than they have themselves. It will be a worse deal.
Britain is Stronger, Safer and Better Off in a reformed Europe than out on our own.
Harriett Baldwin has been the MP for West Worcestershire since 2010 and Economic Secretary to the Treasury since 2015. She is a member of the Conservative Party. You can visit her website here.