Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-06-10-Speech-3-122-000"

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"Mr President, there is a tremendous argument now going on in advance of the UK referendum about whether we should keep our places at the top table. We are told that, if Britain withdraws from the European Union, we will lose our voice where the rules are made. But, as we see, and as we in this House know because we are always legislating on it, the real top tables are global rather than European. Whether it is food standards, banking rules or internet domain names, the real top tables apply much more widely than just to the 28 Member States of the European Union. What we find is that all of our Member States have effectively contracted out their voice at those real top tables to EU institutions – whereas, say, Switzerland, as an independent country, is separately represented and sits there. So the United Kingdom has given up its voting rights and its speaking rights at the World Trade Organisation – unlike, say, Switzerland. That seems to me – in a world where the European Union is shrinking as a share of the global economy and losing its pre-eminence in terms of GDP – a real loss of influence, which we will recover only when we re-establish our independence."@en1

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