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Referendum folly

July 2, 2012 5:48 PM
By European Movement
Talking about a referendum now is the wrong thing, at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons, says the European Movement
This is no time to toy with leaving the European Union. Instead we should remain intimately involved with our EU partners and contribute constructively in developing policies that will allow the British and European economy to regain its competitiveness and create growth and jobs. As the global economy is dealing with existential issues the EU is the right platform for European nations to come together and pursue their common interests. Talking about leaving the EU sends the wrong signal to investors and Britain's global partners and weakens Britain's ability to influence the future direction the EU will take.
Petros Fassoulas, Chairman of the European Movement, says "The EU is the world biggest market, a global player able to negotiate on behalf of its members trade deals with rising powers that contribute billions to EU GDP".
According to the FCO the UK has already benefited from EU Free Trade Agreements. The recently signed South Korea Free Trade Agreement alone is expected to save European exporters £1.35 billion annually in tariff reductions. It is expected to benefit the UK economy by about £500 million per annum. The EU is also negotiating Free Trade Agreements with India, Canada and Singapore. Completing all the bilateral trade deals now on the table could add £75 billion to Europe's GDP.
All alternative membership or association arrangements pale by comparison to full EU membership. The Norwegian, Swiss or European Free Trade Area model do not suit Britain, whose place is in the centre of the EU, forming the EU rules and institutional structures that affect its economic well-being.
"Instead of playing politics with something as important as the UK's membership of the EU, politicians from all political parties should be engaging British people in an on-going discussion about the benefits of being part of the EU and how to make the most of Britain's membership of it," Petros Fassoulas added.
The European Movement calls for a constant and better informed debate during local, national and European elections and invites all political parties and organisations to engage in an honest and fair discussion on what it means to be a member of the EU in the 21st century globalised world.