Why I’ll be voting to remain in the EU

EU and UK flags. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
EU and UK flags. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
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Days to go and the referendum on the EU is dominating the political agenda so I thought it best I set out my thoughts.

Britain’s history demonstrates the national interest lies in patriotic internationalism: voluntary alliances of sovereign countries, agreeing to work under common rules. We have helped to influence the modern world through the power of ideas and values.

Cat Smith - Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Cat Smith - Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

If all of humankind could cooperate, trade and work together, as the nations of the EU have done, there would be more peace, more prosperity and more progress on this earth.

Austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. If the UK was to vote to leave the EU we know the Tories would choose more austerity to deal with the economic fall-out and meet their discredited fiscal promises.

Britain is faced with a fundamental choice: whether to choose jobs and growth by voting to remain, or to choose exit and the cuts and tax rises that would bring.

I believe in standing up for working people whose jobs and communities depend on trade with Europe. I believe in standing up for the rights of everyone to be treated fairly at work – and for the rights at work which are guaranteed by our membership of the EU. And I believe in Britain taking a leading role in tackling the issues too big for any one country to solve alone, whether that’s climate change, global poverty or cross-border crime.

Every major climate change agreement has involved EU leadership. So when it comes to climate change Britain stands taller and is stronger inside the EU. .

But, the EU aside, the other week I had meetings with constituents and visited local projects, businesses and schools. Including, but not exhaustively, Moorside Primary School to present them with their well-deserved FairTrade Award; local Unison shop stewards from local government and the NHS; 10 year anniversary of OneStepTwoStep charity at St Thomas’s Church in Lancaster; Blackpool Pride; and joined an informative walk with No Gas Storage campaigners in Preesall.