I will battle to prevent losing our membership of the Single Market in an act of dreadful economic Self Harm.
I’m putting membership of the Single Market at the heart of my campaign and if elected I will do everything in my power to maintain our immediate economic interests.
It is also why I am calling on the next government – whoever that may be – to set a goal to double our trade of goods and services with our nearest and closest neighbours. Bromsgrove and the West Midlands is a great manufacturing area, doubling EU sales will stimulate growth and opportunity across our region to the benefit of all.
To double our trade with the EU requires substantial and sustained growth. We can only achieve this if we focus on the skills development, the financial structures and the infrastructure investment to support new and growth organisations, and if we focus relentlessly on Young Businesses and Organisations – the source of nearly all net new jobs growth.
It is also our view as Liberal Democrats that new growth and new wealth needs to be shared widely. It is time to recognise that growth and innovation can come from private companies as well as not-for-profit companies, education and voluntary organisations too.
Europe has turned the economic corner and starting to grow again. So, at this moment, why would we tear up our trading agreements with our most important trading partners? Why would we allow ideological hatred of the EU to damage our own economic self-interests?
And, beyond the other 27 nations of Europe we trade with a further 25+ nations (Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, Canada, USA etc…) through EU trade treaties. Why would we tear these up just to spend 5+ years seeking to replace them when we could use our energy to focus on growing our trade right now?
We mustn’t let the Tories deceive us – when they claim to want ‘best possible access’ to the Single Market we must remind them that this is only possible through membership of the Single Market, nothing else will come close.
If we change direction now, we can focus on growing our economy, on raising working people’s wages and filling the treasury with the funds we need to afford a 21st century health service and education system that creates equal opportunity and the ability to invest in a green energy future and tackle the pollutions damaging our health.
This anti-Single Market hard Tory Brexit is an act of incredible and irreparable economic self-harm. But it is worse. Driven from the largest and fairest market in the world, the UK will rush into the arms of the likes of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with its dubious human rights record. Will we really seek to grow our economy by selling them more bombs and then turn a blind eye when they are used indiscriminately? Is that really better than trading fairly and freely with our European neighbours?