By Daniel Hunter
During an interview with BBC Radio 4, David Cameron said he believed the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union would be successfully renegotiated.
Checkatrade.com's boss Kevin Byrne responded by saying it was time for the UK to look again at their involvement in the EU.
“When Britain first entered the European Union, the objectives were creating trade unions and breaking down trade barriers for the growth and future prosperity of businesses and the national economy," he said.
“Now it’s political and the majority of the UK’s decisions are made by Brussels, by a cabinet of commissioners who do not have the UK’s interests at the centre of discussion, but of course they don’t. This is bad for business in the UK. We buy more from Europe than they buy off us and most of our trade is with the Far East, Middle East, the USA and the commonwealth. By contrast the EU is in decline and deep in debt. The EU needs us far more than we need them.
“It is not necessarily time for Britain to leave the EU but it is time to renegotiate our membership in order that powers are returned to domestic soil, allowing us to take responsibility for our own business decisions. I do not believe this would threaten our economy, rather increase the flexibility and competition that is vital for growth, jobs and access to markets.
“However, under the Maastricht Treaty (1992) the entire 170,000 pages of EU law and regulations must be accepted in full by all member states. We are just one voice in an assembly of 27 countries and we lose every time. So a renegotiation of terms if you look at the Maastricht Treaty is not even on the table. We’re either in or out and with the EU costing us £50m a day we should be out.
“We need to get down to ‘brass tacks’ and think about business not politics. However, to renegotiate we’d have to change the Maastricht Treaty first and for this to happen all 27 countries would have to agree. It’s not going to happen.”
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