British Manufacturing

British Manufacturing
British Manufacturing

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Ken Clarke and why we should stay in

'Being in the European Union gives us a much stronger voice in the great world problems of today.'

Zoe Williams' interview with Ken Clarke in Saturday's Guardian (13 February 2016) unearthed this key quote but also other important points that I set out here.

Talking of those who in 1975 would have left the EEC, he says, 'they were wrong. This country has benefitted enormously from joining the modern world.'

This to me holds the key, by being part of a body such as the EU, we are part of the modern world rather than a small country ploughing its own selfish way.

'I actually formed my political views, decided what I was in favour of, chose my party loyalty, quite quickly during my time as a student politician. Most of my views became settled:

Free markets with a social conscience, an internationalist approach to the world, welcoming globalisation and the opening up of trade. 

I've always thought one of the problems for Britain was how to persuade the country to cope with the ever-accelerating rate of change. I have never gone through periods of guilt or doubt that the EC was going wrong.'

I can't help thinking how much better the direction may have been had Clarke had a great hand in it all.

There can be few British politicians more committed to the European project, yet Clarke is clear that it is the voice of the younger generation that must argue the case before the British public. It would be sad, though, if he remained silent.

His conclusion is, 'being in the European Union gives us a much stronger voice in the great world problems of today. Given that we have to earn our living in a globalised and competitive economy, the best base for our economy is the biggest single open market in the world, which happens to be the major place [to] which we we sell our exports and the major place from which we get our inward investment.'

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