In the run-up to the EU Referendum, I have been listening to the arguments on each side, and I have no doubt which side I will vote for: ‘Remain in the EU’.
The Remain Campaign includes a wide range of individuals and organisations whose judgement and integrity I trust.
They all forecast long-term, serious and harmful economic consequences if the UK leaves the EU: for us in the UK, for the rest of Europe, and for trade worldwide.
The individuals include Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, former prime ministers of both parties, the heads of government of all the major countries of Europe, and respected leaders across the world, including President Obama.
The organisations include the UK Treasury, the OECD and the IMF.
All of them have analysed the consequences of staying or leaving, and have then stated their conclusions very clearly and unambiguously.
Can they all be wrong?
On the other side, the Leave Campaign would have us believe that all of the individuals and organisations recommending a ‘yes’ vote are just the powerful establishment who have no interest in ordinary people, who want to keep a system that benefits them, and who are running a campaign of fear.
The Leave Campaign paints an unbelievable picture of our future after Brexit: new trade deals without any requirement for free movement of labour, regulations and membership fees; recovering the sovereignty they claim we have lost; somehow having complete control over our borders and immigration; and having billions to spend on services such as the NHS. All of which will not happen and is pie in the sky.
They cannot underpin any of their arguments with plausible reasoning.
We cannot return to earlier times that some people view through rose-tinted spectacles.
We must live in today’s world. Leaving the EU is a decision that cannot be reversed. We must think of the future of our children and grandchildren.
We must not become an inward looking, isolated island with reduced influence in the world.
We must work with the other members of the EU to make a better world for us all.