MP for North East Herts Sir Oliver Heald adamant UK should remain in EU
- Credit: Archant
The MP for North East Herts has underlined his intention to vote for the UK to remain in the European Union.
Sir Oliver Heald – who has held his Conservative seat since 1992 – believes staying in the EU will be the best possible deal for the UK, ahead of the referendum which has been called by Prime Minister David Cameron to take place on June 23.
“I will be voting for the UK to remain in the European Union, because I feel that the deal that David Cameron secured in Brussels strengthens our special status in the EU and tips the balance towards the UK being better off as a member,” said Sir Oliver.
“I always approached the Prime Minister’s renegotiation with caution. I am not an ardent Europhile, and have always wanted a Europe that recognises Britain’s unique situation and exempts us from any drive towards a super-state.
“I do value the free EU Single Market with its 500 million customers; it is our home market and the basis for Hertfordshire’s and Britain’s economic success.
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“We joined the Common Market for trade and have built the Single Market to cover services too. Being in the EU costs each household a £1 per day and experts say the benefits are worth £3000 a year to the average household in lower prices, more jobs, trade and investment.
“I also value our EU anti-terror cooperation, which keeps us safe.
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“It was, therefore, important to me to see what the Prime Minister could get for Britain.
“In spite of the economic, political, and security benefits of membership, our settlement with the EU has been far from perfect.
“The UK has had to deal with levels of EU migration that are too high, fuelled by too much benefit money.
“We have been tied into ‘ever closer union’ – signifying the EU’s legislative ratchet pulling us further into a project of political integration and businesses complain of excessive European regulation that stifles their growth.
“I am glad that the Prime Minister’s renegotiation has led to improvements for Britain in all these areas.
“Under the Conservatives, the UK’s economy is recovering, and Britain is back on her feet. Many Hertfordshire businesses rely on EU markets.
“The Out campaign has no vision of what our future would be like outside the EU, and so it would be foolish to leap into the dark. This uncertainty is bad for Hertfordshire businesses.
“It is better to be at the table, fighting for Britain, than it is to quit and throw away the benefits that membership brings.
“The advantages of the EU – made considerably stronger by the Prime Minister’s renegotiation – make it clear to me that we should vote to stay on June 23.”
To read Sir Oliver’s full statement, visit www.oliverheald.com.