Why put all of Britain’s advantages at risk by leaving EU?

Dear Editor,

Thanks to the British High Commissioner for his response to my column on Brexit in which I was critical of Britain’s referendum decision to leave the European Union and foresaw a reduced status and diminished role for Britain as a result (‘The UK is here to stay’ Sunday Stabroek, October 18).

The time and care which the High Commissioner, whom I know to be a conscientious and knowledgeable holder of his post, has taken in putting forward the case for Britain remaining as relevant as before is much appreciated. I for one will hope that his account is not misguided and that Britain’s influence for good in the world remains unaffected.

We should know much more when negotiations between Britain and the European Union are concluded. In the meanwhile I agree with Mr Quinn that Britain is now  the EU’s largest trading partner and vice versa, is one of the largest economies in the world, possesses a legal system respected around the world, is open to foreign investment, encourages innovation, is an easy place to do business, has an enviable talent for creativity and possesses some of the best universities in the world, is a strong advocate for the rules-based international system, supports democracy and human rights around the world, is an advocate for free trade, continues admirably to meet its obligations to spend 0.7% of GDP on development assistance, works hard for the security of friends and allies and is a major military power. All to the good. But, as the High Commissioner says, Britain is all these things as part of the European Union.

Why then at least put them at risk by leaving? It is not important that I am asking the question. It is very important that a majority of young people in Britain are asking it.

Yours faithfully,

Ian McDonald


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