EVESHAM’S MP has declared his support for the UK to remain in the EU, after being convinced it will be in the country’s ‘best economic and security interests’.
Nigel Huddleston made the decision after waiting to see the EU reform deal the Prime Minister brought back from Brussels, which has now paved the way for an in-out referendum to be held on Thursday, June 23.
As part of the reform deal, the UK will now be able to opt-out of ‘ever closer union’, apply an ’emergency brake’ on in-work benefits for EU migrants for seven years and British taxpayer’s money will never used to bailout Eurozone countries.
The Mid-Worcestershire MP is one of over 100 MPs who are backing the Prime Minister’s reforms after previously saying he would have ‘considered voting to leave’ if Mr Cameron didn’t return with a good deal.
However, the leave campaign has criticised the Prime Minister by claiming he has merely brought back ‘concessions’ and hasn’t significantly reformed Britain’s relationship with the EU.
Mr Huddleston told the Observer he is now ‘sufficiently convinced’ the UK remaining in the EU is the best option.
“After much deliberation and consideration of all the arguments, I have decided that I shall vote to stay in the EU,” he said.
“I have always said that I would vote in the way that I believe would be in the best long term interests of my children and I now feel sufficiently convinced that staying in the EU is in their – and the UK’s – best economic and security interests.
“I will be voting to remain in the EU but I have great respect for the views and opinions of those who wish to vote to leave.
“If we decide to leave the EU then I want the transitional arrangements to be as smooth as possible and for us to negotiate the best possible terms under a new trading agreement.
“If we vote to remain, then I will continue to argue for further reform in Europe, more democracy and better accountability.
Evesham’s MP also added he would not have supported the remain campaign if David Cameron had not achieved a UK opt-out from ‘ever closer union.’
“I would not vote to remain if the Prime Minister had not secured an exemption on ‘ever closer union’, as while I welcome the economic and trading advantages of being in Europe, I have never supported some sort of ‘United States of Europe’,” he added.
“I view Europe as a trading opportunity, not as a political or social experiment.”
To read Nigel Huddleston’s full statement on why he will be voting for the UK to remain in the EU follow the link below.