In the referendum, which is likely to take place next year, the Liberal Democrats are clear that the UK should not only stay in but that Europe should be reformed.
One in every ten British jobs, many in London and plenty in Ealing rely on our membership of the European Union’s single market. The EU buys over half of the UK exports. Lots of American and Asian firms build factories in our country because it is in the single market.
The EU is our biggest trading partner, accounting for 52% of our trade. This rakes us in about £400bn per year, which far outstrips the estimated £12bn we spend (net) on the EU each year.
|Gary Malcolm, a proud European|
We should enjoy the freedom to work and study abroad and we should allow others that same right. Nearly 1.5 million British people live abroad in the EU. About 15,000 UK students took part in the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange scheme.
If we left the EU we'd need to pay more for visas, unless we created our own agreements with different countries. The facts show that when Europeans move to the UK, they are more likely to work and pay taxes as well as not requiring benefits.
The European Arrest Warrant replaced long extradition procedures and enables the UK to extradite criminals wanted in other EU countries, and bring to justice criminals wanted in the UK who are hiding in other EU countries.
By leaving the EU we would lose our seat at the decision-making table but still pay the bills. It would be like paying a season ticket at QPR, Brentford or other local team and then not be allowed to watch any of the matches!
There are still many things that the Liberal Democrats want to see improved about the EU. These include:
- Reforming the EU budget – Liberal Democrats will continue to cut wasteful spending in the EU budget while increasing funding for job creating policies such as cross border infrastructure projects, the digital economy, small business funding and cutting-edge research and development.
- Cutting waste - Liberal Democrats will campaign to bring an end to the European Parliament's monthly travel between Brussels and Strasbourg. This will save £150m and almost 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
- Reforming small business rules - we will support the ‘Think Small First’ principle to reduce unnecessary European Union regulatory costs and exempt smaller businesses from legislation where appropriate.
In summary Ealing, London and our country would be better off IN EUROPE.