Europe: decide what is best for the country rather than individuals

Leaders of more than one third of Britain's biggest businesses have come out in support of the campaign for the country to remain in the European Union.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 11th March 2016, 9:44 pm
European Union
European Union

Although there are a number of notable absences such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Barclays. It is looking likely from recent polls that the referendum could prove to be very tight.

I imagine it is going to be very difficult for many people to make up their minds, with the possibility that events such as another crisis in Greece or an escalation in the refugee crisis between now and June swinging the electorate from being marginally positive about Europe to being marginally negative.

I feel it is very important to try to remain as balanced as possible and not to get too weighed down with the short term.

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There will be a number of battleground areas over the next four months with immigration being one of them with the knowledge that currently immigration is boosting the workforce by 0.5 per cent a year.

It has to be noted that increasing the workforce in an ageing population has helped the economy to grow and has kept wage growth, inflation and interest rates under control.

The question for many is that although this has happened is it desirable for this to continue into the future.

With regard to trade, statistics show the European Union is the destination for just about half of all our exports. The question here is whether this trade will still be there if we exit Europe. I feel it is possible we should be able to negotiate on this matter as we do import roughly the same from Europe, so it is likely the impact on trade and manufacturing would be relatively small.

Financial services have, I believe, potentially the most to lose over all other sectors as they could lose their passporting rights which allows British institutions to sell into the European Union without having a branch there.

Choosing this and other changes could have the effect of moving the financial centre of Europe from London to say Frankfurt.

Although overall there are further financial considerations to take into account such as regulation, defence and the property market, I feel we should try to make our decision based on what we believe is best for the country as a whole rather than basing it solely on our individual interests.