Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 08:00, 14 December 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
by political editor Paul Francis
Ashford MP Damian Green has mounted a strong defence of Britain's membership of the EU, saying it holds the key to jobs and inward investment in the country.
In a keynote speech to the Bright Blue Conservative think-tan, the minister has confronted his party's Euro-sceptic wing by arguing that the British economy benefits from being in the EU.
He said it would be folly to put jobs at risk by renegotiating membership.
"There is [though] a hard-headed pragmatic economic argument that our membership is to the advantage of the British economy, and therefore the British people, and that this remains the case even with the enormous current problems faced by the Eurozone," the MP said.
Other EU members would not accept a situation in which Britain remained part of the single market but was outside the EU in other respects, he added.
"There is a fantastic vision of an EU which remains a single market, including the UK, but which in all other respects allows the UK to be outside. This is a fantastic vision precisely because it is a fantasy.
"What is in this for those on the other side of the negotiation? "
The UK economy was being helped by the decisions of global manufacturing
companies to locate in the country to sell into the European market.
"If you were a company in China or India wishing to set up a base in Europe, would you be more or less likely to choose Britain if we had withdrawn? Staying in and fighting is the best way to meet our economic needs."
The MP's intervention in the debate about the EU comes against a backdrop of calls by many Conservatives for a referendum on Britain's membership.
Many say the party is suffering because it is failing to take a tougher line on the issue and losing out to UKIP.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.