21 FEB 2016

"WHY AM I VOTING TO REMAIN IN THE EU"

"I've lost count of the number of times I have rehearsed this question. Do I go with my head or my heart? The former says stay for the security of jobs and business in our area, the latter is seduced by the prospect of settling old scores with the undemocratic bureaucratic monster that Brussels has become.

So now we can avoid the question no longer I see it like this. In west Wales we have a recovering economy, local jobs becoming more available, and vital trading links with the whole of Europe. We have an agricultural industry (closely aligned with tourism) in volatile conditions and dependant (whether we like it or not) on EU subsidy. We are seen by our "multi national" employers as being embedded in that enormous market, and hence worthy of ongoing investment and commitment.

tempting though it is to believe that the world outside the eu will be more prosperous than the one in it, I just can't find the evidence to support that theory.

Of course we can fight our own corner, of course we can operate in a free global market, but the question I can't get the answer to is how instantly we will be able to achieve those aims. Transition will take years, not months, and involve uncertainties that the "out " campaign seem unable to explain.

So I ask myself this question. If my business, my job, my livelihood, my future is even remotely dependent on the relationships we have developed - and have now renegotiated to our advantage - is this a risk I'm willing to take? Can I take this step without knowing that the future is more secure than the present, even with its numerous gremlins.

Try as I might I can't say yes to that, so will be voting to remain."

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Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
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SW1A 0AA

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