Liberal Democrats believe that being an active member of the EU helps Britain to tackle the greatest problems facing us in the 21st Century. Working as a block of 28 countries allows Britain to combat climate change, tackle cross border crime, and effectively control large corporations, ensuring that taxes are paid fairly by all businesses.
We are a Liberal party which believes in open markets and free movement of people, goods and services as we know that these increase prosperity for all. We are an open, optimistic and outward-facing party and we want Britain to stand proud in the EU and continue to play a leading role in the world. Britain is better in Europe and Europe is better with Britain.
Reasons to vote to remain
The European Union was forged out of the wreckage of the second world war and has been a beacon of peace ever since. Robert Schuman, one of the founders of what would become the European Union said that economic and political co-operation between countries would make war "not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible."
This legacy has continued to the present day: A few decades ago, the 28 countries of the European Union were on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain, some with nuclear weapons aimed at the west. Today, all of those countries sit around the table in peace and solidarity.
All British citizens can work, travel and study anywhere in the EU. British businesses to access 500 million customers and holidays within the European Union are cheaper thanks to EU legislation.
In addition, being part of the EU makes it easier for world-class scientists to collaborate across boarders. EU grants pay for research and training of PhD students (with Britain receiving more funding than any other EU country); The European Space Agency is the largest space programme in the world; scientists at CERN are pushing the boundaries of physics, and the EU is funding research into Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Britain's access to 500 million customers is good for business and the economy. The ability to make trade deals as a block of 500 million people gives Britain clout in negotiations. We would likely get worse deals if we left.
Access to the single market increases investment into the UK, particularly in finance and manufacturing. UK car manufacturing has had millions of pounds of investment creating thousands of jobs. Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said "Europe is our biggest trading partner and the UK’s membership of the European Union is vital for the automotive sector in order to secure future growth and jobs"
The biggest threat to Britain's economy and security over the next century will be the effects of global warming and pollution. In London last year, 9000 people died prematurely as a result of air pollution. Every year people across the world became displaced due to climate change. Many species are becoming extinct due to environmental destruction. One thing is clear: the actions of one country alone are not enough.
Through legislation at the EU level, countries are beginning to tackle low air quality. Through international co-operation, Europe reached a deal with other polluting nations to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions and work done in the European Parliament by Liberal Democrat Catherine Bearder MEP is protecting animal species who are threatened with extinction. The European Union is also investing in research which will create technologies to combat climate change and its effects.
The EU allows Britain to tackle crime and terrorism by sharing data and intelligence with our neighbours. It also has agreements which allow greater control of immigration by processing people at Calais rather than within the United Kingdom itself. This is at risk if we leave the EU.
EUROPOL, the pan-European crime agency helps member states to work together to dismantle organised crime networks and intercept counterfeit goods. It also plays a huge role in stopping drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism. Through the EU, Britain can use the European Arrest Warrant, which allows criminals such as Osman Hussain, one of the 7/7 bombers, to be brought back to Britain to face justice more swiftly.