It is estimated that 90 per cent of global economic growth by 2015 will be generated outside of Europe and it is therefore vital for Britain’s economic future we develop deep commercial partnerships with high-growth markets such as India, South Korea and Vietnam.
The EU is the world’s trading superpower. Collectively it is the world’s largest economy, the largest importer, the largest exporter, the largest investor and the largest recipient of investment. Economic titans such as the USA and Japan queue up to negotiate deals, while over 40 Commonwealth countries have either trade agreements in place or are negotiating with the EU.
Britain’s economic interests are put at the forefront of European demands in these negotiations. EU trade agreements with emerging markets have already created jobs and growth in Britain.
For example, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force in July 2011 and, as a result, British exports to South Korea have more than doubled.
The EU has just finalised negotiations with Singapore and deals with the USA, Japan, India, Canada, Vietnam and Malaysia are on their way, promising yet more British jobs and growth.
It is vital Britain remains a strong, committed member of the EU. If we retreat to the sidelines, as UKIP and many Tories want, we will have to negotiate with the bargaining power of 60m people instead of 500m.
The numbers are simple - outside we will get a worse deal for British jobs and growth.
Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary candidate for South East England, Clays Hill, Bramber