EU referendum: Our MPs gives their arguments for leave and remain

We asked our MPs for Maidenhead, Twyford, Burnham and Windsor to outline their reasons for remaining a member of the European Union or leaving the European Union ahead of next Thursday's historic referendum.

Staff reporter

Theresa May, Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead and Twyford (Con) 


“Britain is big enough and strong enough to be a success story in or out of the EU. But the question in this referendum is not whether we can survive outside of the EU: it is whether we would be better off.

“In my judgement, remaining inside the EU will make us more secure and more prosperous.

“We are more secure because we can better tackle crime and terrorism through measures like the European Arrest Warrant, which has allowed us to extradite more than 5,000 people from Britain to Europe in the last five years, and bring 675 suspected or convicted wanted individuals to Britain to face justice.

“We are more prosperous because the EU is a single market of more than 500 million people, representing an economy of almost £11trillion and a quarter of the world’s GDP. So the economic case for remaining inside the EU isn’t about fear, but about optimism – optimism that Britain can take a lead and deliver more trade and economic growth inside Europe and beyond.

“That’s why major local employers like Hitachi and GlaxoSmithKline are backing our membership of the EU and access to the single market. The EU is not perfect. There are costs and benefits of our membership and, looking to the years ahead, there are risks and opportunities too. The issues the country has to weigh up before this referendum are complex. But on balance, I believe the case to remain a member of the EU is strong.”

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor (Con)


“Britain will be stronger, safer and better off out of the EU.

“Some think things will remain the same in the EU. They will not. Status quo is not on the ballot paper.

“Swathes of changes will continue to sweep across the UK from the unelected elites that run the EU including greater power over our laws, courts and trade as well as increased demands for more of our money.

“If we vote to remain, it means we will accept all future plans and changes over which we have little say.

“One of the worst aspects of the EU is that it discriminates against people on the basis of their nationality. We are forced to turn away skilled and qualified applicants for jobs from around the world in favour of EU citizens who can just show up unannounced. This cannot be right in the modern age.

“If we vote to leave, we will regain control of our borders, taxes and security, and our ability to trade with the rest of the world.

“On balance I believe our best future lies in leaving the declining and discriminatory EU in favour of a more open and outward looking Britain. We will be stronger, safer and better off out.”

Dominic Grieve, MP for Burnham (Con)


“At the end of the referendum campaign I remain unconvinced that we would be better off leaving. The EU is far from perfect, but continuing participation and reform from the inside offers the best prospect for our future.

“Our access to the single market is underpinning our economic growth with £24billion of inward investment into our country. Some  of these businesses, such as pharmaceutical companies, are international and have offices in our locality. They will not stay here if there is a risk they cannot use us as a base for free access to European markets. If the investment stream reduces after a Brexit vote we will face economic problems that will hit the most vulnerable.

“Membership of the EU also provides an important framework for security cooperation to protect us against terrorism and serious crime.

“And while there is undoubtedly a serious global challenge from mass migration, I do not see how removing freedom of movement for EU nationals to come to the UK to work (less than half of all immigration) is going to reduce immigration unless we intend to do without workers in vital jobs. Currently the NHS has need and employs 50,000 of them.  

“Although all different, our EU partners share in our core values of the rule of law, freedom and democracy. In a dangerous world we should strive to work with them and not isolate ourselves.

“For all these reasons I would urge constituents to vote to Remain.”

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