European elections 2014: Lib Dems

Key arguments have emerged during this European election.

The first is about jobs and how to protect them. By being in the EU or by quitting and going it alone ?

The Lib Dems argue strongly that Britain must remain inside the EU. Why? Because being inside the European family gives Britain a strong say in making the rules about our trade with the other 27 member countries.

Major businesses say just that. For them, the UK must remain inside the EU, or else they would have to reconsider future investment decisions.

Who says that? Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Shell, Branson, Unilever, Diageo, the CBI and others.

Outside the EU, Britain would have no say about the rules which affect our exports to the world’s biggest market of 500 million Europeans.

Outside the EU we would not be given favourable terms by the other 27 countries. The EU’s Lisbon treaty says nothing about having to give quitters a favourable deal.

We would still have to obey EU rules – as Norway and Switzerland must, without any say – and European rules would be made by the continentals to suit themselves, not us.

To leave the European family would be a massive gamble. The party campaigning to leave does not explain what would happen afterwards, except that, hey presto, everything would be great.

They want you to give Farage a blank cheque. Their campaigning is marked by lies and scary exaggerations.

For example, Britain does not pay £55m into the EU each day: that omits our rebate and payments to our farmers and other grants.

Only a small proportion of our laws are made in Brussels (which of course has no say in education, or health, or pensions, or defence).

They spread unpleasant scares against immigrants, who come here and contribute usefully to our society.

If Britain left the EU, jobs linked to trade would leak away, because nobody would have to listen to Britain.

International businesses would relocate to inside the EU where they would be protected. We would become a museum, nice for tourists to visit.

The second issue is climate change. How shall we cut back our emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases which come from burning coal and gas?

How do we generate enough renewable energy to keep our society functioning? Lib Dems want a variety of non-carbon sources, including wind, solar and nuclear. Fracking is unproven and must be watched every step.

Third, some voters are treating this election as a protest opportunity. Yet the European Parliament is powerful and protesters may get a result which harms them in future.

UKIP cannot achieve anything at all, not having a single seat in the Commons.

If you have questions, email or call 07939 250473.

Please, protect British jobs and British influence by voting Liberal Democrat on May 22.