By Bryn Jones
Much of the coverage of the EU referendum has focused on the divisions in the Tory party, Jeremy Corbyn’s lacklustre support for the Remain camp, and the constant accusations of scaremongering from both sides. I want to reflect on what’s at stake in this referendum, and why Liberalism favours sticking it out with Europe.
Our ability to trade freely and openly with others makes our country more prosperous. In difficult economic times it’s tempting to turn our backs on the world and look inwardly, but to do this is to shoot ourselves in the foot. British businesses depend on free trade with Europe. We depend on other countries investing in Britain, buying from Britain and selling to Britain. And being part of the single market makes Britain an attractive country to do business with.
What’s at risk in this referendum is losing our place at the negotiation table for the single market. Some leave campaigners insist we can stay in the single market but leave the EU, but the cost is our ability to influence the rules of the market. We don’t want to find ourselves paying into a system we have no control over.
As a Liberal I believe that if we reach out and work with our neighbours, trade openly with them, and see ourselves as part of the global community, we can all benefit. Businesses benefit from being able to trade freely across borders, without being stifled by restrictions and tariffs. In turbulent economic times, we need to remain in the EU now more than ever.