Today, Labour launched its campaign to remain in the European Union (EU), which is being led by ex-Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP. I am supporting the campaign because of the huge benefits being a member of the EU brings for the people of Flintshire.
Wales is a net beneficiary of EU funding, with our region gaining €117 million a year. This money directly funds projects in our area: be them sports, arts or regeneration and employment.
Britain is a proud trading nation with almost half of our exports going to EU countries– worth £227 billion last year to the UK economy. UK jobs and businesses large and small are dependent on trade with Europe. We receive on average £26.5 billion of investment every year from other EU countries. Future EU trade could create 790,000 more jobs by 2030 by opening up new markets in Europe, for British businesses, like digital services, energy and tourism.
But being a member of the EU holds many more benefits outside of strengthening our economy. It also has delivered workers’ rights and protected fundamental human rights. Ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected from the excesses of an unrestrained free market.
We are increasingly living in an interconnected world. Working with people who hold the same values as us makes us a stronger force for good in the world.
The EU delivers jobs and investment into North Wales. Without it we would lose vital industries such as the renewables sector, which nationally delivers an additional £10.4 billion to our economy and 140,800 jobs.
I will be campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU. Now more than ever, we must secure our future and that can only be done by remaining a member. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours in solidarity is what is needed to tackle the major issues of the 21st century.