THE Liberal Democrats are fighting these European elections to keep Britain in Europe.

Because hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on trade with the EU. Because we need to work together to fight cross-border crime and protect our environment.

Being in the EU is about protecting the 360,000 jobs across the South West – the 4 million jobs across the UK – that depend on Europe and working to create millions more by making it easy for British companies to grow and export.

Manufacturing giant General Electric, which employs more than 1,600 people at Bishops Cleeve, recently said Britain should stay in the EU.

And there are many other Stroud and Gloucestershire employers that export to the EU and could really suffer if we left.

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty in Gloucester who make aircraft landing gear supply parts to Airbus. EDF who employ 5,000 people in Barnwood are a French-owned company. Spirax-Sarco Engineering in Charlton Kings has Italian subsidiaries.

Gloucestershire’s GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership’s new Growth Hub will be doing lots of great work to help local businesses grow and export overseas.

Being in the EU is also about protecting our traditional agricultural produce. Single Gloucester cheese, Gloucestershire cider and perry and traditionally farmed Gloucestershire old spot pork have all got special EU protected status to guarantee quality and make sure that only products made here can be sold under those names.

But it’s not just about businesses and trade. Being in the EU is also about making sure the law does not stop at national borders. Our police forces need access to key EU crime-fighting tools to combat criminal gangs, terrorists and international paedophile rings

The Conservatives once boasted of being ‘the party of law and order’: now they allow their anti-EU obsession to get in the way of fighting crime.

And finally, being in the EU is about working together with other countries to cut our carbon emissions and reduce pollution levels. It’s about making the switch to green energy together and more cheaply, rather than trying to go it alone at massive expense. If we want influence in the world we need to be influential in Brussels in a union of more than 500 million people.

But the bottom line is that the Liberal Democrats want the UK to stay in the EU to protect jobs, including jobs right here in Gloucestershire.

We are the ‘in’party because in the end, being in Europe means being in work.

Liberal Democrat candidates

  • Graham Watson
  • Kay Barnard
  • Brian Mathew
  • Andrew Wigley
  • Jay Risbridger
  • Lyana Armstrong-Emery