Monday, 20 June 2016
Young people & Europe
Here is the unabridged version of my letter to the Evening Standard which was published last week:
Dear Evening Standard,
The 13 June letters about young people seem to think EU membership is only about opportunities to work, study and travel across Europe (which young people are very keen on) and completely ignore that being in the EU stimulates huge foreign direct investment in the UK, which creates jobs.
This investment comes mainly from companies in other EU countries, but Japanese and American companies also use the UK as a springboard to the world's biggest free trade area, the EU single market. Many of us know someone who works for one of those companies.
Outside the EU, such investment is unlikely unless single market access is guaranteed, but the promises Leave campaigns have made (no more EU rules, no free movement, no EU contribution) means being outside the single market. It is possible to trade with the EU without being in the single market, but it's very limited; a huge step back from what we have now. Leave campaigners need to come clean about what this will mean for our economy and stop pretending we can have our cake and eat it.
Young people are overwhelmingly voting IN because they want the opportunities the EU offers and they think it's sensible to collaborate closely with our European neighbours. They don't want to take the country back; they want to take it forward!
Liberal Democrat IN Together campaign