Should the UK vote to leave the EU? Matthew Elliott makes the case at Interel Breakfast

Having concluded a deal with European leaders late on Friday night and set the date for the EU Referendum for June 23rd, the race is now well underway with less than 180 days until the election.

We were delighted to be joined by Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Vote Leave, at our Brexit Breakfast yesterday morning. Here were his key messages to businesses, on the campaign and what a post EU UK looks like.

  1. The Vote Leave campaign is not about “Project Fear” – while playing to people’s fears may have secured the No vote for Scotland, in this referendum the debate is more nuanced and businesses are split. Private companies, SME and family companies are much more evenly divided, making “project fear” less effective.
  2. Trade – A UK out of the EU would be able to negotiate it’s own new bilateral and multilateral trade deals with key markets and to negotiate a deal with the Eurozone. The UK has the size and scale to remain competitive in the global marketplace. We currently have a trade surplus and that will continue outside of the EU in new markets.
  3. Increased democracy and control – If we leave the EU, then we are can reclaim accountability to Westminster and regain sovereignty from Brussels, setting our own agenda and regulations.
  4. Vote Leave vs. Leave.EU – The two leave campaign groups are taking two very different approaches; Vote Leave is looking to launch the UK into the international world; while Leave.EU are focusing on the negatives on EU membership such as migration. Merging the two is unlikely to happen due to fundamental philosophical differences.
  5. The City of London will be able to retain passporting rights – The City of London has a lot going for it; the London lifestyle; English speaking and a global financial super hub. The UK would be able to renegotiate passporting rights, to maintain free movement of capital and services. Financial regulations will be an economic battle ground of the campaign.
  6. Migration policies will change – Migration within the EU is not fair or equitable and the UK businesses are unable to recruit the best people. Outside of the EU we would be able to set our own fairer more sensible migration policies to attract talented people from around the world.
  7. Brexit will allow us to choose the current EU regulations that we want to keep – Leaving the EU will allow us to regain the control over our regulations. There will be a “sensible moment” post- Brexit where Parliament will begin to reconsider and adapt current EU enforced laws. Leaving would allow Britain to choose the regulations we admire, and ignore the ones we don’t, all the while, retaining Britain’s interest at the WTO and similar organisations.
  8. Scotland will not be affected – While Nicola Sturgeon has committed to a second Scottish referendum if the UK leaves the EU, the polls highlight that Scotland is no more pro-EU than the rest of the UK. With the falling price of oil and the collapse of the North Sea, it is unlikely that the SNP will win or even proceed to a second referendum.
  9. There will certainly be more concessions from the EU – in the run up to the referendum, we are likely to see a “Vow” similar to that made in the Scottish Referendum, if the polls put Leave ahead. Concessions may strengthen the deal that Cameron has already made for a reformed UK in the EU.
  10. The campaign will come down to the final weeks – More senior names are coming on board with the Leave Campaign every week and continuing to show support, with business leaders and politicians increasingly backing Brexit.

Visit Interel’s recently launched Brexit site to find out more about the latest polls, thoughts by businesses and upcoming events.

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Lauren Roden

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