Dangers of leaving the European Union

Tony Rowell (letters, June 20) asks how many jobs are linked to our membership of the European Union, which Liberal Democrats have stood up for.

The most recent independent estimate was in March by the Centre for Economic and Business Research which found “4 million British jobs depend on exports to the European Union” and that 492,000 of these are in the South East.

It builds on an LSE study in 2000, “UK Jobs Dependent on the EU”, that estimated 3,000,000 nationally and 28,120 in East Sussex.

Leaving the EU would not destroy all of these jobs but would endanger very many. Exit would gamble with our access to the single market, exit would deter investment in the UK (see comments of Japanese car makers) and would destroy every UK job funded by EU resources (a considerable number in, for example, science and research).

On the other hand, by being in, we can create more jobs by pushing to expand the single market to services such as law, media and project management in which the UK is a world leader.

If we left the EU, we would still be hugely affected by EU decisions – but would lose our say through our MEPs in those decisions.

Being in is not only good for jobs but allows Europe to work together for our environment and against shared threats to our security.

Mr Rowell claims the Green Party can be relied on. But for years they were against Europe, now they say they are in favour. Who knows what the Green Party will say in a few years.

Antony Hook

Liberal Democrat MEP 
Candidate 2014