Lyn Brown

Member of Parliament for West Ham

Newham Recorder Column 22nd June

This week, as a nation, we make the most important decision in a generation, one that will impact upon our nation’s wealth and well-being, upon job opportunities and security, for us our children and our grandchildren.

I want to remain.  I see no benefit whatsoever in leaving the European Union.  Half our trade is tied up in our EU membership.  We cannot afford to sacrifice all that.

Some argue we could negotiate trade deals with the EU, like Norway and Switzerland.  That means accepting common rules and regulations.  Sometimes we’ll object, but we’ll have no voice at the top table:  no vote.  That’s not taking control back; it’s chucking it away.

Many international businesses may abandon Britain, if we leave.  For foreign firms, the UK is their gateway into European Markets.  They provide thousands of UK jobs that would relocate to France or Germany.

It’s said that EU membership is too expensive, costing us £350million-a-week.  It is a lie.  It takes no account of the rebate Mrs Thatcher secured, nor the money we receive from the EU to support our fishing and farming industries, urban regeneration or our research scientists; 42% of UK cancer research funding comes from the EU!

The Treasury calculates that every £1 we invest in Europe earns us £10, in increased trade, investment, jobs, growth and lower prices.  We get a good deal.

Nastiest of all the messages from the Leave campaign has been about immigration.

Leaving the EU means fewer immigrants from Europe, they say.  It’s a way to control immigration.  It simply is not true.  Leaving the EU, but retaining single market access, would force us to accept free movement of people, just like Norway and Switzerland.  There will be no change.  Arguably, our control over immigration will loosen.  Our border controls will no longer be at Calais, but instead in Dover and other UK ports.

Let's think long and hard about this decision.  Avoid jumping into the unknown and risking our economic stability.  Let’s not be deceived into quitting the EU.  Please vote to Remain in the European Union on 23rd June.

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