The future of the UK economy will be decided on the 23rd June this year. There is a stark choice between economic security and global influence as part of the EU, or a leap in the dark. Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm and I urge all of you to vote remain.
A vote to stay is a vote for certainty. Currently the economy receives £1.5 Billion each year in funding from the EU, and if we left the EU some of the poorest areas of the UK would lose out on funding that plays a vital part in redeveloping and supporting them. This funding isn’t just for huge Government initiatives, it supports communities, local enterprises, universities and small businesses, and it helps everyone. 5,663 UK businesses across the country receive over €1.6 billion of EU funding, 72% of funding goes to smaller businesses.
Businesses can’t thrive or even survive in areas where people don’t have jobs, education or skills. Small and Medium sized business sometimes struggle to cover rising costs of doing business, but increased energy cooperation across Europe is expected to reduce energy bills, and to deliver benefits to British consumers of almost £12 Billion over 25 years. If we leave the EU, Britain will miss out on this cooperation and risk billions in increased efficiency.
Voting to remain means staying part of the Single Market of 500 million people – Britain’s biggest trading partner – with a say over the rules of doing business across Europe. That means more jobs, lower prices, and more financial security for British families. Britain has always traded as a nation and the freedom to trade without barriers or tariffs with the 27 other EU countries is vital to our future prosperity.
European Cooperation makes it easier for businesses to work all over Europe. Most EU legislation actually cuts red tape for businesses by replacing 28 divergent sets of national rules with a single set of common rules. This saves businesses from duplication and compliance costs and is in Britain’s national interest. For example, it’s now possible to register a trademark once, valid across 28 countries, instead of having to do 28 different sets of form-filling, registering, troubleshooting and fee-paying. Moreover, as the Federation of Small Businesses argued recently, EU-wide rules actually protect British businesses from competitors abroad who might undercut our high standards if they could.
Often when right-wingers arguing for Brexit talk about so-called ‘red tape’ they are talking about workers’ rights. Their ‘red tape’ is a British worker’s right to paid holiday, some treasured time off with their family.
Our tourism trade would also be hit by Brexit. For example, as one of the world’s prime tourist destinations, London generates £11.8bn for the economy with two thirds of the 17.4 m visitors annually coming from Europe. Other cities up and down the country get a similar boost from European tourism and local economies would be hit hard if tourism slowed because we left the EU.
Remaining in the EU helps protect jobs, gives us lower prices and helps ensure we have enough money in the economy to protect funding for local schools and hospitals. The EU isn’t perfect, but our future as a nation is brighter and more secure inside it, so that’s why I’ll be voting to remain
Virendra Sharma MP