#Brexit: David Cameron to set out benefits for UK

| March 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

David CameronDavid Cameron is to set out what he sees as the benefits of the UK staying in the EU after claims he has focused too much on the risks of leaving. The prime minister will say full access to the EU’s internal market reduces trade barriers for British firms.

It comes as Prof Stephen Hawking and 150 other scientists warn that EU exit would be a disaster for UK science. But Commons leader Chris Grayling will say the UK’s sovereignty will continue to be diminished if it stays in the EU.

Grayling, one of five cabinet ministers backing EU exit, will say Cameron’s renegotiation deal may leave the UK in a worse position than before, unable to veto future political integration in the EU.

Voters will decide on 23 June whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or leave in a referendum that the prime minister will describe as “the most important decision for this country in a generation”.

In a speech to car workers, Cameron will say people want the facts and arguments about the EU presented in a ‘calm and rational way’.

Retaining full access to the EU’s single market, he will argue, enables British businesses to sell their goods, without the threat of tariffs, to 500 million people, bypass trade obstacles and be a part of the most ‘ambitious and comprehensive’ free trade agreements with the rest of the world.

“The question isn’t whether Britain could still be a great country outside Europe,” he will say. “Of course it could. The question is: where will our economy be stronger; where will our children have more opportunities.”

Cameron will also criticise opponents who he claims are willing to sacrifice economic prosperity for wider political goals. “For those who advocate leaving, lost jobs and a dented economy might be collateral damage, or a price worth paying. For me, they’re not. They never are.”

The speech comes a day after former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg accused Leave campaigners of ‘dragging’ the Queen into the EU debate after the Sun published a story about the monarch’s views on Europe, suggesting she “backs Brexit”.

Meanwhile, Professor Hawking and 150 fellows of the Royal Society, including three Nobel laureates and the Astronomer Royal, have warned in a letter to the Times, that leaving the EU could severely affect research in Britain.

“We now recruit many of our best researchers from continental Europe, including younger ones who have obtained EU grants. If the UK leaves the EU and there is a loss of freedom of movement of scientists between the UK and Europe, it will be a disaster for UK science and universities” the academics say.

However, in a speech in London, Grayling will implicitly criticise the changes to the UK’s membership negotiated by David Cameron, saying they will not return powers to the UK, roll back the scope of European law or reduce the degree to which the EU ‘now governs our lives’.

He will challenge the PM’s argument that by remaining in the EU the UK can help shape its future direction, particularly in the areas of competitiveness and welfare reform, suggesting the UK may emerge from nine months of negotiations over its membership with ‘less leverage’.

Vote Leave, the cross-party anti-EU campaign group of which Grayling is a member, is publishing research on Thursday 10 March suggesting the UK has ‘seemingly given up’ its right to veto any future EU treaty drawn up to cement the process of economic and monetary union across the eurozone.

This, it warns, could see the UK dragged into further political integration despite it being outside the euro and after David Cameron secured, as part of the negotiations, a legally-binding exemption from the EU’s core principle of ever-closer union.

Grayling, who like other ministers has been given the freedom to campaign on the opposing side to the PM, will pick up on this, arguing that the UK risks sacrificing a ‘key tool’ in preventing future integration and could find “itself in a worse situation than we were before”.

“One of the inadvertent consequences of the renegotiation discussions is that we have agreed that Britain ‘shall not impede the implementation of legal acts directly linked to the functioning of the euro area’. This is a significant – and under-appreciated – loss of leverage.”

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Category: A Frontpage, Brexit, Conservative Party, EU, UK

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