Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 16 June 2016


The debate in the run up to the referendum has been a poor oneI have been dismayed by the exaggerations on both sides, and a number of outright lies. This has not been the finest hour of the political classes. We are all diminished.

And yet on 23rd June 2016, next Thursday, we have to decideProbably the most important political decision most of us will ever make. In a general election, you can change your mind after 5 years, but this decision on EU membership will be close to irreversible. 

As I hope you know, I am voting to Remain. If you are still undecided, let me set out again, in measured terms, one reason why I recommend Remain.

Our membership is fundamentally about the single market: access to 500 million customers without tariffs or quotas. It has been responsible for much of our recent prosperity and millions of jobs. Maybe your job or a member of your family.

If we vote to leave the EU it is almost inconceivable that we will have access to the single market without having, at the very best, a deal similar to Norway. Norway is not in the EU,but has to pay to be a member of the single market and has to comply with the single market rules including free movement of peopleNorway has greater immigration than the UK.

If we come out of the EU, but have to pay to access the single market comply with its rules including in immigration, there is no gain. No savings. Same immigration. 

And any influence we currently have over setting the future direction of the single market would be gone. Bad deal.

If that deal were not acceptable to usthe only real alternative is for the EU to impose tariffs on our goods and services thus delivering our economy a devastating blow. 44% of our exports go to the EU. 6% of their exports come to us. There would be no special deal. 

So don't put the economic strength of the UK at risk. Don't put your job or your children's job at risk. 

There is a vast generational divide. Older people are inclined to vote Leave, with younger people likely to choose Remain. If younger people do not vote, they might lose this by default. 

Why not vote Remain and work towards a better, safer, more stable future for Britain and the whole of Europe?

posted by Gary @ 09:43