"By remaining in, we can continue to lead in Europe and shape our own destiny. By leaving the European Union we would not ‘regain control’, we would lose it," says Lib Dem's former leader Nick Clegg.
Those who want Britain to leave the EU often cite Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and even Iceland as models for a utopian future where we are free from the suffocating strictures of the European club.
But what do these countries have in common?
They all abide by the EU’s rules and regulations, but with no way of influencing them. [...]
The Out campaign say they want to take back control. Are these countries a model for taking back sovereignty over their laws? No. Their terms of trade? Nope. Their borders? Not at all. [...]
They argue that Britain can simultaneously abandon the EU, end free movement of people, end all EU budget contributions, repatriate control over employment regulations and retain full access to the European single market. It sounds lovely, but it’s a deception.
And that last point is the most deceptive of all. There is no access to the single market without adherence to its rules and regulations.
Out campaigners respond by talking misleadingly of a ‘free trade deal’ with our European neighbours – but a free trade agreement is a very different thing to accessing the single market. [...]
A free trade only arrangement would leave British companies discriminated against in a market governed by strict rules designed to level the playing field of cross-border trade. [...]
What’s more, we would be excluded from the free trade deals the EU has with over 50 countries around the world, disadvantaging British businesses for years as the Government sets about renegotiating them all one by one.
The European Union is far from perfect, but I believe we are unambiguously better off in than out. By remaining in, we can continue to lead in Europe and shape our own destiny.
By leaving the European Union we would not ‘regain control’, we would lose it. We would be left powerless and voiceless, waiting, like the Norwegians, by the fax machine.
Full article in The Independent
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