Rebecca recently sent the following letter to the Yorkshire Post with her colleague, Edward McMillan-Scott MEP.
It comes as little surprise to us that more than 75 per cent of senior business managers and
owners want to see the UK remain in the EU (Yorkshire Post, 20th Feb 2013). The benefits of UK membership far outweigh any of the supposed benefits those calling for withdrawal like to put forward.
At a time when we should all be working to improve the economy in Yorkshire, any idea of leaving the EU could do significant damage to those efforts. Not only does EU membership make the UK and Yorkshire an attractive place for international investment, but access to the world’s biggest single market is key for the region’s exporters. The Department for Business calculates that one in ten UK jobs depend on EU trade and our membership adds about £3,300 per year to each family.
Indeed, business bosses are right to be concerned about the risks to free trade should the UK leave. Being part of the EU is also a boost for employees in firms across the region because of the workplace protections afforded to them by the EU – protections such as the right to paid annual leave, which those calling for EU withdrawal would be happy to see disappear.
Of course, that is not to say that EU reform is not needed and that EU support for businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region could not be improved. But it is only by being on the inside that we can champion reform. We will continue to fight for a better deal for the region and welcome hearing more from businesses concerned about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU.
Edward McMillan-Scott MEP and Rebecca Taylor MEP (Liberal Democrat, Yorkshire & Humber)