Graham Watson MEP
Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
A local champion with an international reputation
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Published on Thursday 17th January 2013
The President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and South West MEP Sir Graham Watson has urged the Prime Minister to listen to the business community and security experts, not his own nationalist eurosceptic MPs ahead of a key speech on Europe this Friday.
Sir Graham commented:
"When people pay their taxes, they expect their Government to do three things: keep them safe, protect their jobs and provide them with care when they get sick. The Prime Minister risks undermining two of these basic pillars in just one speech."
"One in ten UK jobs are dependent on our trade with and membership of the European Single Market. The job losses at the Honda plant in my constituency in Swindon this week illustrate this only too well. The UK's trade with Europe is one of the cornerstones of our economy - our destinies are tightly bound together."
"David Cameron is walking our economic recovery on to very thin ice."
On the potential opt out of EU justice and home affairs policies, Sir Graham, who piloted the European Arrest Warrant through the European Parliament over ten years ago, commented:
"Any security expert will tell you that we have to work together across borders to tackle serious crime such as illicit drugs, human trafficking or international paedophile rings. If we don't, we risk becoming a safe haven for criminals - instead of the Costa del Crime in Spain, it will be Crimeshire here in the UK."
"If we are to properly tackle the global challenges our governments face such as climate change, international organised crime or the rise of China, India and Brazil, we need to work together with our European partners."
A recent opinion poll by YouGov/Sunday Times revealed that by a 40% to 9% margin, the UK would have less influence in the world if it left the European Union according to respondents.