'We must prepare to leave EU'

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By The Bristol Post | Thursday, January 17, 2013, 05:00

KINGSWOOD MP Chris Skidmore believes the UK must prepare itself to "exit" the European Union.

The Conservative backbencher said it was not "unfeasible" to see the UK economy flourishing outside the EU and the single market.

His comments came as Prime Minister David Cameron prepared to announce plans for a referendum on EU membership as he sets out his policy for future relations with Europe in a long-awaited speech tomorrow.

Mr Skidmore told a political website it "would make sense ultimately to have paved the way for an exit".

He also said the UK needed to be "weaned off its dependency on Europe", adding: "I don't see it as unfeasible to create a sustainable economy outside the common market and the EU."

Instead Mr Skidmore urged politicians to create "strong relationships" with countries outside Europe before they "pull the plug" on the EU.

Mr Skidmore's comments were published shortly before Mr Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband clashed over Europe at Prime Minister's Question Time.

Mr Miliband said the uncertainty caused by a referendum would "hang a closed sign" around British business.

But Mr Cameron told MPs the "massive changes" taking place in Europe following the eurozone crisis presented an opportunity to renegotiate a better relationship with the EU.

He said: "Do we look at these changes and see what we can do to maximise Britain's national interest and do we consult the public about that, or do we sit back, do nothing and tell the public to go hang?"

Mr Skidmore said if the UK was going to become a "global power" then politicians had to understand that the world was adjusting to a different balance of powers and that the EU might not maintain its global dominance in the future.

He said: "The world itself is going through a balancing act."



  • Profile image for ant86


    By ant86 at 01:11 on 26/01/13

  • Profile image for Phurr

    lolly, I can almost see the rolled up copy of the Daily Mail and the foam at the corners of your mouth. Which particular act do you want to undertake that you can not as a result of us being part of the EU?

    Skidders, is a plonker of the biggest order. During a recession we should be strengthening our relationships with our major trading partners not destroying them! Does he assume that we could trade more successfully with those great economic power houses Morocco and Armenia if we turned our backs on the 500 million people within the EU.

    I know we should aim to trade more with the BRIC nations but it need not be at the expense of our current arrangement.

    Take one example, Air Bus, why would they want to invest in a nation where there would be an obvious financial disadvantage to them, if we left the EU? The Germans, Spanish and French workers would just pick up our work, without a backward glance.

    Yes Skidders in the 19th century for about 50 years we were the most powerful nation on Earth, but please get over it.

    By Phurr at 12:11 on 18/01/13

  • Profile image for matic_113

    I suggest mr Skidmore addresses Kingswoods problems before he goes finger pointing. Or a least provides examples of how Brussels is responsible for its woeful transport and planning in his ward. + people need be banned from using the phrase 'Political correctness gone mad'. Stuart Lee does a good sketch (warning bad language)

    By matic_113 at 11:25 on 17/01/13

  • Profile image for Lone_Ranger

    Can anyone name any of "our laws" wich the EU has "taken away"?

    By Lone_Ranger at 10:59 on 17/01/13

  • Profile image for lolly60

    What rights !!!!! Brussels has taken most of them away already ,decent set of rules WHERE because we haven't seen any for us .and the human rights bill needs to be torn up and written again were the Victim has the rights not the criminal.and being in the EU didn't save us from Labours mess did it .

    By lolly60 at 10:42 on 17/01/13

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