Opinion: Britain should vote ‘remain’ on 23rd June

Volker Hirsch shares his views

(This letter was written by one of our readers. Views expressed by our readers do not necessarily reflect those of So Cheshire or its representatives)

 

Editor’s note: Volker Hirsch is the co-founder of Blue Beck and Quantified Ventures as well as co-founder of Tech North Advocates. Here, he shares his opinions on why he thinks Britain should vote to remain in the EU at the referendum on 23rd June 2016.

We have also posted an opinion piece setting out the opposing view to this. You can read that HERE.

 

The UK faces its most important decision in a long time and it pains me to see so many lies and misinformed myths being flogged in the media to disguise the only choice I feel is right for the country, its people and economy, which is to vote “Remain”.

The EU may have its flaws, just like all governments, institutions, clubs, heck, families have. However, only because we do not think it’s perfect, we do not just leave, say FIFA, do we? We work with it to make it better.

The truth of the matter is that the EU has and is bringing a lot more positives to the people of the UK than negatives.

The most important reason is access: access to customers of UK goods and – perhaps more importantly – services, access to skills and workers and access to the largest and most powerful market in the world and one to which more than 50% of British exports go to. The Netherlands imports more British goods than all of China!

I am an entrepreneur in the digital sector. Tech is the largest growth sector for our economy and not a single one of its most celebrated companies, the so-called unicorns (companies with more than $1 billion market cap) wants to leave because we require open access.

The only argument I have heard for leave is to “get control back.” This simply won’t happen when quitting the EU. Norway and Switzerland, most often quoted as an alternative, have to comply with most of the EU’s laws, allow free movement of workers AND pay almost as much as the UK does today. And they have no say in it.

The alleged lack of democracy is not true: the EU works with a parliament, a council comprised of elected representatives from the member states and an executive arm, the commission, which is exactly the same like a government – which is not elected either.

It’s pretty much the same as everything else. So rather than bemoaning some shortcomings, let’s work with the EU to tackle those. The alternatives are dire: no one strikes a trade deal within a few years. Just try and find examples. There are none.

Switzerland does not have a trade deal with the US. It also does not have a trade deal with the EU covering services (including banking). The same will be the case for the UK (where 65% of value-add comes from the service sector, including financial services). There is not only a risk that the outcome would be quite dire for our economy, it is a certainty!

Finally, let’s not forget that the EU’s motto is “United in Diversity”: don’t believe that the French want to lose their identity to the Germans or the Italians to the Belgians. They love their own cultural identity just as much as Britain loves its own.

The world opens up ever more. Let us tackle its challenges in concert with our European neighbours rather than cuddling up on our national sofa and hope that it will all be good. We are better than that!

We can do it and we are #StrongerIn!

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