EU Referendum considerations

EU Referendum - not far off! 

eu referendum yes no

This isn't from or about Lymington per se, but arguably it's relevant to us here in the New Forest

If you haven't made up your mind and are frustrated by the lack of impartial information to be found, these reasonably objective considerations might just help a little...

This article by Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane, was shared on Facebook by a friend in Somerset, I read it and thought yes, that’s helpful. So am sharing it here with you.


She has decided after doing her homework as best she can, to back the stay campaign in the EU referendum. That whilst Europe is not perfect, we are better off in than out. Some of her more “regional” points are not directly comparable to the New Forest – but they’re not far off.

Talking to key people to inform her decision

She spoke with key businesses, farmers, elderly residents and environmentalists as well as having individual meetings with Michael Gove and David Cameron before coming to her conclusion.

"Deep down, my gut feeling is that whatever the misgivings of the European Union, and I certainly don’t believe it is perfect, I am convinced that we are better off in Europe," Ms Pow said.

"Firstly, we have had 40 years of peace and relative prosperity so why rock the boat and opt for an unpredictable future?"


In her argument Ms Pow cites benefits of the free market, freedom of movement, impact on the agriculture industry and the environment among her reasons for wanting to remain in.

"The European Union was originally set up as a trading bloc and we still benefit enormously from free trade with 500 million people on our doorstep. Indeed Europe is our largest trading partner representing 52% of our trade," Ms Pow said.

"It could take years to renegotiate trade deals with European countries if we leave.”

She said that this could have serious consequences for local businesses which regularly export lorry loads across Europe, with disruption to supply chains with the introduction of extra tariffs and import controls. Eg the food industry is a key employer in the South West.

"This is not to mention the dependence of the food sector on the labour force from Eastern Europe. The UK workforce simply can’t, or doesn’t, fulfil this demand," she added.

"Remember too, that two thirds of our agricultural exports go to Europe which would also be disadvantaged. I am not convinced our own government would prioritise the rural sector as Europe does and this would be highly detrimental especially in areas like Taunton Deane."

Considering the interests of our younger generation

Ms Pow finished her statment by asking people to consider the potential impacts on the younger generation of leaving Europe.

"Last but by no means least, let us consider the younger generations who will be stuck with the consequences of our decision should we come out of Europe. Do we want to burden them with a small island mentality, where shutters come down, the union possibly disintegrates and potentially 20 years of uncertainty ensues as we try to find a new direction?," she said.

"All the young people I have spoken to see themselves as Europeans, operating on a global stage with opportunities to move freely and work anywhere within the EU, so I urge a thought for them as this most important decision is made."

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