In light of the referendum proposed by the Conservatives on leaving the EU in 2017, I was interested to see that the EEF, the trade organisation for UK manufacturing companies, has announced that a third of them would be less likely to invest in the UK if Britain quit.
According to the Financial Times, a further third would have to make “significant changes” to their business plans; and in a survey of 210 company executives, 85 per cent of EEF members said they would vote to remain in the EU if there were a referendum now.
Manufacturers say that EU membership is critical for exports, “with the economic benefits far outweighing concerns about regulation or the repatriation of powers”; and the EEF says that the UK has benefited from £2.7bn of research and development spending carried out by EU-parented companies in 2011.
Wiltshire’s economy benefits from a large number of manufacturing companies, with for example, Siemens Rail Automation in Chippenham, Cooper Tires in Melksham, and of course many people working for Honda or BMW in Swindon.
As Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Chippenham constituency I am thoroughly convinced that continued EU membership is of benefit to the economy locally and nationally. For the sake of economic stability, and the future of secure and well paid jobs in Wiltshire, the government should avoid continued uncertainty that jeopardises inwards investment in the manufacturing sector.
Published and promoted by Chippenham Labour Party on behalf of Andy Newman, both of 5 Elm Hayes, Corsham, SN13 9JW