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100 Day Countdown to the EU Referendum: What’s the Issue?

Today marks the 100 day countdown to the European referendum. I recently participated in the Sage EU Debate with host Ian King Live Sky News inside of The Shard. One hundred Sage customers were ready with questions about how an ‘in’ or ‘out’ vote would impact them. Taking their questions on the panel were Anna Soubry, Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise; John Mills entrepreneur, founder and Chairman of JML; Emma Jones, small business expert, author, and founder of Enterprise Nation; and Craig Beaumont, Head of External Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses.

Urban Myths

One of the most interesting points was raised by Anna Soubry, who asked those in attendances which EU Regulations were negatively impacting their business. The room was silent. “We have to be careful of urban myths about EU regulations” said Anna Soubry. Interestingly, John Mills mentioned some of these with his statements on ‘immigrants relying on the state’. By the end of the Sage EU debate, the undecided had moved from 32% to 24% which was a result.

My Experience of the EU

As a women I have experienced the benefits Europe has given women rights and to be honest I do not trust the Tories who have not demonstrated a care for gender and racial issues beyond the usual platitudes.

As a business person although some of the legislation from Europe can be a little unpalatable, on the whole these are for the benefit of the majority rather than the minority. An example is the EU Late payments legislation has been positive for UK small businesses among many others directives.

The fact is, we can only speculate on the effect to the economy of Brexit. There are specified economic risks in the short and medium term; Brexit does not easily pass any cost-benefit analysis. Neither side can confidently make claims of the apparent benefits since trade is only one driver of growth and prosperity. What we do know is that they will be a severe and uncomfortable adjustment to our policies which will have an effect on our currency, an impact on trade and investment and will de-stabilise our economy and therefore threaten individual job security.

A FT article states “The issue of whether a post-Brexit UK would have a heavier burden of regulation rather than being freed from the EU’s bureaucratic yoke remains deeply contentious. Brexit supporters acknowledge that the UK’s regulations are often wider ranging and more restrictive than the EU rules on which they are based – a habit known as gold plating”.

Looking at these issues, I do not think the negative affect of being part of the EU out-ways the many positives.

The Real Question

When I have had discussion with those in favour of Brexit, essentially the real issue is the question ‘where sovereignty should reside?’ Yes it makes sense that the UK Parliament should be the supreme legal authority in the UK, however, we live in a global economy and I do not believe that we can prosper in an inter-connected world as ‘me, myself and I’. This just does not sit with my values, so I will be voting to remain in the EU.

What are your views?

2 Responses

  1. I haven’t met you Janice but I regularly get your newsletters in my inbox. I don’t know why I receive these but I decided to allow them to keep coming. I completely disagree with you about remaining in the EU. The EU is a corrupt and dishonest organisation. The MEPs are on a gravy train. There is no proper accounting and responsibility in the EU. The good that it might do for the UK is far outweighed by the lack of real power we have over ourselves in this country and I will be voting most emphatically to exit. I also believe that when we do exit, the EU will soon have to restructure themselves and we will then get the Common Market for which In voted originally. Free trade leads to much great freedom and better economics for everyone.

    1. Janice B Gordon

      Thank you so much for your comments Vivienne. It is good to hear your views and have an exchange of views so I appreciate your comments.
      I think you are right about the inefficiencies in the EU organisation. Sadly there is dishonesty and unfairness in many organisations we do not have to look far whether our own tax system and the inequality between large and small organisations, FIFA, MP expenses or MEPs. Remember MEPs are born out of our own political environment, do they shed their values when they cross the channel or do they have good intentions and still do some good? Organisations that a may be inefficient Unfortunately leaving them does not make them any less corrupt but working within them may. I would love to hear your response.

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