STAYING in the European Union is best for the people of Britain and future generations,
STAYING in the European Union is best for the people of Britain and future generations, says John Howell.
The Henley MP said he would be voting to remain on June 23, saying it was a “vote for certainty”.
He praised the deal made by David Cameron earlier this year to protect London’s financial centre and for Britain to be able to limit the access of new EU workers to in-work benefits for a period of up to four years from the start of employment.
Mr Howell said: “A vote to leave will not take us back to the situation we were in before we joined the EU. The world has changed and life has moved on. The issue is not, in fact, about the money we pay to the EU, although this is often raised.
“The total amount of money spent on the EU is not £350million per week that some quote but £161million when the rebate and other flows are taken into account.
“The whole picture is important. It also needs to be taken in the context of other spending to get a balance. The real question, though, is not how much we spend but whether what we get in return is value for money.
“My judgement says that the answer to that question is that the EU does deliver value for money — and better off in the EU.
“A vote to stay is a vote for certainty. We’ll be better off in Europe because we’ll get to keep access to the single market of 500 million people with a say over the rules of doing business across Europe. That means more jobs, lower prices and more financial security for British families.”
Mr Howell said Britain could “undoubtedly” survive outside the union but there would be a huge cost in doing so.
“That is what the figures which have been produced pointing to a recession, to house prices going up, to mortgages being at risk and overall funding falling are meant to show,” he said.
“Immigration is, of course, an issue but of the total number of immigrants, about half (some 188,000) do not come from the EU but from outside and would not be affected by our membership of the union.
“We are already tackling this group and I get more complaints from people about how tough our immigration policy is now than I do about how lax it is.
“We do have the ability to control our borders now since we are not part of the Schengen agreement on border arrangements and we have turned back people from the EU from coming to our shores.
“It is now for you to decide on our future with the EU. I urge you to do so without the level of vitriol that has been shown. There are balanced arguments to be considered which need to be discussed rationally rather than emotionally and a decision taken based on judgement.”