Julian Smith MP: Vote Remain today for the future generations

Today you will be playing a part in making one of the most important decisions for the future of our country: whether we should remain in or leave the EU.

Thursday, 23rd June 2016, 6:00 am
We need to be at the top table with our neighbouring nations.

This is a vote which will affect generations to come.

Whether you voted in the last referendum or whether you are casting your ballot for the very first time, I urge you to vote Remain.

A choice which I believe is better for our economy, for our security, and for families across Skipton and Ripon.

The EU gives businesses like The Black Sheep Brewery in Masham access to the world’s largest market.

It gives farmers working in some of the most difficult terrain in our country subsidy support.

It gives young people across our country the opportunity to move freely throughout the continent. And if you are an entrepreneur, as I was before I became your MP, the EU Single Market allows you to trade freely without having to set up offices and legal structures in each country.

Many people argue that the EU has changed unrecognisably since we joined in 1975, but so has the world around us.

We now live in a global world and being part of the EU means we can compete with economic players like China, India, and Brazil without compromising our character, culture, and individuality.

Leaving the EU would risk our position as the fifth biggest economy in the world: it would take years to negotiate trade deals both with our European neighbours and around the world, and we do not know what terms these will be on.

This instability is a high price to pay and one which even the most ardent Leave campaigners have admitted would continue for years.

Across Yorkshire more than 360,000 jobs are linked to the EU.

Nearly one in 10 workers in Yorkshire and the Humber work in manufacturing and a staggering 49 per cent of our manufactured exports go to the EU.

Our success in this industry is linked to our freedom to export to the EU.

Farmers across our area also depend on the EU for subsidies to ensure that they continue to make profits amidst global uncertainty.

The EU accounts for more than half of all our food and farming exports, amounting to more than £11bn a year.

We have a captive market in the EU, and we should be looking to export more of our exceptional products to Europe rather than subjecting farmers to even more uncertainty by leaving the EU.

The EU isn’t perfect, but if we want to remain one of the strongest economies in the world, one of the most influential nations, and continue to be relevant across the world, we need to be at the top table with our neighbouring nations and not standing on the sidelines.

The vote today isn’t just a vote for our generation, but for generations to come.

From all I have seen in business and as your MP, I urge you to vote Remain.