Yesterday, Interel and The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium were delighted to host Chuka Umunna MP and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for a head-to-head debate on Britain’s membership of the EU. The two Westminster heavyweights made their cases to a packed audience of business leaders. Words by Alexander Mulchrone, Parliamentary Monitoring Assistant at Interel.
Jacob Rees-Mogg’s top five points:
1. The EU has gradually evolved into a political union which seeks to undermine British sovereignty.
2. The argument that the EU is a free trade block is a fallacy. The EU does not trade freely; it is a customs union. .
3. Europe’s migration policy is fundamentally flawed and in fact ”wicked”.
4. If the UK votes to leave, Britain’s first action should be rolling back regulations on the City of London and opening up markets from EU protectionism.
5. Should the UK vote to leave, the Government will easily ensure a smooth transition as provided for in the European Treaties.
Chuka Umunna’s top five points:
1. The EU’s influence on British politics is overstated. Britain remains the master of its own destiny.
2. Where the EU does play a role in determining policy, it is wrong to suggest that Britain is ”trampled on” by Brussels.
3. The great challenges which nations face in the 21st century are cross-national and global by nature, and so an internationalist approach is important if we are to face up to them.
4. The Eurozone is our biggest trading partner, and it is nonsensical to suggest that we could withdraw from the EU without impacting this trade.
5. Even if we vote to stay, it is important to continue to reform.