Be counted

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As we await the publication of the EU Referendum Bill following the Queen’s Speech, it is notable that both the CBI and aerospace giant, Airbus, have recently added their weight to growing calls for the UK’s continued membership of the EU.

It is vital that those, like the European Movement, who believe that our future lies as being members of the EU, stand up and be counted. Such a move must extend beyond the business community, to include civic society and all those who see our future as part of the European Union.

In basic economic terms, the EU is the largest single market in the world, with a population of 500 million, and its economy is seven times the size of the UK economy.

Indeed, just under half of Scotland’s international exports are destined for countries within the European Union and at least 330,000 Scottish jobs – around one in seven – are dependent on our membership of the European single market. A report published by the CBI in late 2013 said the benefits of EU membership were worth £3,000 for every UK household.

Scotland is more successful being part of a larger EU trading block, with the ability to directly influence the direction of travel, and as a home for inward investment, than outside the tent with a fraction of the ability to influence key economic decisions.

This referendum is a choice between openness and isolation, shaping the future or retreating into the past. It is crystal clear that continued membership is in our national interest.

Derek Hammersley

European Movement in Scotland

Edinburgh