LONDON, England – British ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned against Britain leaving the European Union, saying it “would send the wrong message about the UK”.
In a speech delivered in London on Saturday, Brown said if Britain could not cooperate with its nearest neighbors, it would make it harder for young people to plan their futures.
“If we the British then decided we were going to walk away from our nearest neighbors, refuse to cooperate on economic and other matters that are vital to our future, deny young people in our country the chance to plan for the future because we are breaking off links to countries that are nearest to us, what sort of message would we send to the world about what kind of world we are going to build for the future if we could not engage in cooperation with our nearest neighbors?” he said.
“By the strength of our common endeavors we can achieve more together than ever we could achieve on our own,” the former UK premier added.
Brown claimed that around 500,000 new jobs could be created by opening up the European single market further to British firms.
“My message to young people is that Europe still is the future for jobs, environmental sustainability and fairness, …The biggest job creator of the next decade will be Europe’s single market,” he noted.
Last week, incumbent Premier David Cameron also voiced his fears about leaving the 28-nation bloc that would cost Britain some 16 billion pounds in infrastructure investment.
Cameron noted that leaving the EU would have a “devastating impact” on future major road, rail and education projects in the country.
Opinion polls have indicated that UK voters believe staying in the EU would be best for Britain’s economy, but that support for leaving and remaining still remains at a virtual tie.
The economy and the impact of a possible British exit, or Brexit, on jobs, wages and trade are a key battleground for both the “In” and “Out” campaigns before Britons vote on June 23 on whether to stay in the 28-member bloc.
The “In” campaign, those in favor of remaining in the bloc, argue that leaving it would risk the UK’s prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU.