Manufacturers say Britain must stay in EU

October 14, 2013 5:45 PM
By Bill Newton Dunn MEP

In Europe In WorkBritain must stay in the EU. That was the message from British manufacturers to the Government in today's in a report which calls for the UK to remain part of the EU in order to help secure jobs and economic growth.

The survey by manufacturers' association EFF, which represents 6000 firms of all sizes across the UK, found that 85% of its members would vote to remain in the EU. Manufacturers said EU membership is critical to exports and that the economic benefits far outweigh concerns about regulation. A third said that if the UK was to leave the EU, they would be less likely to increase investment in Britain.

Bill Newton Dunn in EU ParliamentLiberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands Bill Newton Dunn commented:

"The message from manufacturers is clear: in Europe, in work. Manufacturing employment is highest in the East Midlands, where it accounts for about one job in eight (302,000 jobs). The year from September 2010 to September 2011 saw different trends in employment across the regions. The manufacturing workforce in the East Midlands grew by 16.2% compared with a national average of -1.0%.

"Thousands of manufacturing jobs across the East Midlands are linked to our exports to Europe. Our priority should be creating even more jobs, not putting them at risk by pulling out.

"Liberal Democrats are determined that Britain should take the lead in Europe, not sit on the sidelines. Reforming the EU to open new opportunities for British firms, both in Europe and the rest of the world, could create tens of thousands more jobs and unleash billions of pounds worth of economic growth."

Business Secretary Vince Cable added:

"Here is one of our leading, non-political employer organisations - the voice of the makers of Britain - making it unambiguously clear that it would be damaging to growth if we left or even formulated proposals to leave the EU.

"Our focus must remain on making the case for Britain being strong in Europe as millions of British jobs depend on it."

To Re-elect Bill Newton Dunn next May

The Facts

The EEF represents over 6000 manufacturing firms of all sizes up and down the country.

The manufacturing industry employs around 2.5 million people in the UK and in 2012 accounted for 10%, or £139 billion, of national economic output. 302,000 people are employed in manufacturing in the East Midlands, or 13.9% of the work force, the highest percentage in the UK

Key data from Manufacturing: Our Future In Europe:

  • 85 per cent of EEF members support Britain's ongoing membership of the EU
  • UK benefited from £2.7 billion of R&D spending carried out by EU parented companies in 2011
  • 37 per cent of companies would have to make significant changes to their business plans if the UK left the EU - and one third would be less likely to invest here
  • The UK attracts the most foreign investment out of all countries in Europe
  • Almost 90 per cent of EEF manufacturers sell directly or indirectly to customers in the EU
  • Three in five members say the EU is key to their export strategy

The size of the prize:

- Completing all the trade deals currently on the table would bring a benefit the EU economy of approximately € 275 billion (Source: European Commission)

- Completion of the single market could add 10% to EU GDP over the very long term.

The full report can be found here.