In just the space of a week, the USA and Russia have shown us why we need to be a part of a major power block like the EU. Donald Trump, with his 25% tariffs on metals, has revealed all too clearly how little he values free trade and indeed how weak the UK would be in negotiating a deal with him. Can we really rely on this US Administration to rescue our exports if we leave a Customs Union with the EU? It hardly seems likely.
And then the poisoning of Sergei Skripal has reminded us of the true nature of the Putin regime – vicious, aggressive and dishonest; probably a far bigger threat to the UK than Islamic terrorism. And yet how are we to react? It’s all very well to talk of “robust” responses but the UK’s armed forces are far from a threat to Russia and so any response is almost certain to be economic and diplomatic. What that means in practice is probably sanctions. Until now, we’ve been able to link arms with our EU partners to ensure a range of sanctions which actually bite. Could we do that on our own? Indeed, without Britain’s leadership, will the Europeans actually keep up the sanctions in place today? An exit from the EU leaves us isolated when we are under very real attack, putting British lives at risk.
That’s why being in the the EU makes us richer, safer and stronger. And that’s why the Conservative Party will never be forgiven if it goes through with a Brexit policy which is bound to leave us weaker and poorer. Let’s exit Brexit together!