1 in 10 South West jobs associated to Britain’s EU membership

March 31, 2014 11:04 AM

A report outlining that 4.1 million British jobs are now associated to Britain's membership of the European Union has been published today.

A report published by the think tank Centre for Economics and Business Research outlines that in the South West, there has been a 17% increase on the number of jobs linked to trade with Europe since 1997. According to the report, over 360,000, or 1 in 10, jobs are now associated to the UK's membership of the EU in the South West.

Overall the figures show that the number of jobs associated to the UK's membership of the EU has risen from over 3 million to 4.1 million between 1997 and 2011.

Commenting on the report, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West Sir Graham Watson said,

"Today's report further outlines the damage that would be done to Britain's economy and to British jobs if UKIP and many Conservatives get their wish. There is a clear and present danger that if we leave the EU or shake business confidence in Britain's ability to be a stable member of the EU, grave damage could be done.

"Eurosceptics have now been proven wrong. For years they attacked the 3 million jobs figure as hogwash. Well they were right on that, it's not 3 million, in fact it's over 4 million!

"These figures are not simply plucked out of thin air. 59% of Westcountry exports go to the EU. How anyone can think not a single job would be lost if we left the EU is delusional.

"According to the report, here in the South West, 1 in 10 jobs, over 360,000 in total, are now associated with our membership of the EU and the single market. To be in Europe really does mean to be in work. I now hope Eurosceptics will realise that by actively calling on Britain to pull out they are playing politics with peoples livelihoods.

"Over the past 17 years the South West has become more connected to trading with Europe, not less. With increased demand for Westcountry food and drink exports, and with major manufacturers such as Airbus and Agustawestland going from strength to strength, we must realise just how important being an active member of the EU is."