Senior MEP Urges Renegotiation Or Accept Brexit Possibility
The East of England MEP and Chairman of the EU's Single Market Committee has urged European Heads of Government to reform and renegotiate Britain's membership or risk Britain voting to leave.
Vicky Ford MEP speaking to the Parliament ahead of the EU Summit emphasised the benefits that the European Single market has brought to trade and prosperity but she also warned that British voters are split 50-50.
Speaking in front of the European Commission, President Jean Claud Junker, she said that "Unless substantial changes are negotiated Britain will vote to leave" and urged all leaders to find real and lasting solutions to the issues the UK is raising.
Mrs Ford said that Europe's single market needs to be more dynamic and not discriminate against Countries, like Britain, that have not or do not want to adopt a single currency. Mrs Ford reminded MEPS that the East of England has experienced more EU migration than any other part of the UK. She described freedom of movement as a "cherished right" but warned that unlimited access to healthcare and welfare by EU migrants has proved unattainable and builds resentment.
Tomorrow European leaders will discuss the Single Market, Migration & Brexit. British voters are split 50-50.
Unless substantial changes are made Britain will vote to leave.
The Single Market has made it easier to trade in 28 countries, with 500 million consumers. I would like to see a more dynamic single market. But the UK will not join the euro and cannot be part of its ever closer union or Social Union
Therefore it's vital that countries outside the Eurozone cannot be discriminated against by a cartel of those countries within. This is a red line for me in the Brexit negotiations.
On migration, the Region I represent has experienced more EU migration than any other part of the UK. Free movement is a cherished right. But unlimited access to healthcare, welfare has proved unsustainable and builds resentment.
In two years' time the UK may have voted to leave the EU. I urge all leaders to find real and lasting solutions to the issues raised.
My Political Priorities
Economic Stability must come first. Without a strong economy we can not deliver a strong society. I work with businesses and consumers to keep Britain open for business, cutting red tape, boosting trade opportunities and helping to deliver jobs and growth for all.
I support Science and Research which is key to delivering better medical care, healthy food as well as the Innovation and Creative Industries which bring improved lifestyles for all our families.
Strong home Security is vital in today's uncertain world, which requires robust policing and defence and deep international relationships that we can depend on. I work with others to achieve this.
I care about the Countryside and the Environment and making sure that rural and urban communities flourish.