UK will be tax haven out of EU

For the first time ever I'm on the same political side as David Cameron, Tony Blair and heaven help me, most of the CEOs of major companies.

I hasten to add that my reasons for voting to stay in the European Union are very different to theirs.

Cameron’s ‘re-negotiation’ seemed to me to pander to the worst aspects of being British.

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In a predictably doomed attempt to persuade the Little Englanders in his own party and the UKIP supporters in the electorate he made much of the negotiation about restricting benefits to migrants and resisting any regulation of his chums in the city.

The intellectual argument of the more thoughtful ‘outers’ (e.g. Mr Gove – you know, the one that the teachers loved so much) is that the referendum is about sovereignty - the liberty to decide who governs them and how. A bit rich from the defenders and beneficiaries of an electoral system that produces a government elected by 27 per cent of those eligible to vote.

Having lost the economic argument, the Brexiteers are resorting to much murkier appeals to the strain of nationalism that is anti-foreigner. They have the idea that their ‘Britishness’ will somehow magically overcome economic realities and the damage to our international reputation.

Any solutions to the most pressing problems of the modern world will have to be taken by nation states acting together. Concerted effort by the EU is the only way to make multinational companies pay their fair share of taxes, ensure decent standards for workers and the environment and protect human rights.

I hope the vote is to remain and a fully committed United Kingdom will work together with our fellow Europeans for the benefit of all the citizens of Europe. I fear that a successful leave vote will lead to the ascendancy of nationalists and right wing extremists whose policies will turn my country into an impoverished isolated offshore tax haven.

Stephen Richards

Bramlea Close


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