We were pleased to note that Amber Rudd, in line with most of the cabinet, has decided to campaign in favour of staying in the EU.
At the moment, the UK has, on its doorstep, a huge market of 500 million consumers.
Should the UK exit the EU, all British goods are likely to be heavily taxed and become too expensive.
This would lead to many company closures, resulting in serious unemployment.
Finding new markets would take many years during which time the country would be in an era of commercial uncertainty.
Recently, the Times published an open letter signed by 197 chief executives of major companies, which stressed the need for the UK to remain in Europe.
Major signatories included ASDA, BT, Easyjet, Vodaphone, Barclays, Aviva, AXA, M&S, BMW, Burberry, Virgin Money.
We also believe, from articles seen in quality newspapers, that foreign companies such as Toyota and Nissan have declared their intention of moving their entire operations to the continent if the UK should become isolated from Europe. Similarly, we have seen articles which indicate that some banks plan to move to Frankfurt or Paris if the UK becomes separated from the EU.
Cut off from the continent, the UK would cease to attract investors, leading to a weakening of the financial sector.
Political considerations are no less important:
1. The security of the UK relies heavily on cooperation with our European partners. At the moment, 28 countries stand together to fight terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, cyber crime and other international crime.
2. Opinion polls suggest that the majority of Scots would vote to remain in the EU. A second referendum on independence in Scotland is likely to leave to a break up of the United Kingdom.
3. If Britain is seen to turn its back on its closest neighbours, this would be viewed as a step towards isolation. Our standing on the world stage would be diminished and our views on international matters (diplomatic, economic, environmental and humanitarian) would carry less weight.
J and M Graves
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