LORD SUGAR: WHY BRITAIN SHOULD STAY IN THE EU

 

Iíve been in business for 50 years. Iíve seen some pretty daft ideas in my time. And Iíll tell you one of them: Britain leaving the EU. Iím constantly being asked by ordinary people to try to explain this EU thing. They are totally confused by the two sides of the argument. So today I want to cut through the nonsense and explain to the readers of the Sun why we must remain in Europe Ė and why weíd be the mugs of the world if we left.

 

The young generation might see me as this fellow with his Rolls Royce, flying around in my private jet, and they might think that I am out of touch with the average man in the street. Well, theyíre wrong. I am that average man, who, at the age of 17, started my business from a council flat in Hackney.

 

I bought some stuff, sold it for a profit, bought some more, and went on to manufacture things, selling to my main market: Europe. The rest is history. What I did, anyone can do in this country Ė youíre free to start from scratch and trade with our European counterparts.

 

But to do that, like me, you need an economy that is strong and open. I remember prior to us being a member of the EU, trying to move goods around to Europe. It was a bureaucratic nightmare.

 

When we entered the EU, it was a breath of fresh air for me. It opened up a massive market. I was free to sell to and buy from who I wanted and where I wanted. Honestly, thatís how my companies prospered.

 

Who knows what would happen if we left?Not a lot of people know that when Americans try to sell cars to the EU they have to pay 10% import duty. Itís unimaginable if we exit the EU and tariffs are introduced on our car exports. Iím sure our Japanese friends who have invested billions in our country and employ tens of thousands of people will have to rethink their location. We donít want that. Think of all the people employed in car plants here.

 

The Brexit people will argue no tariffs will be imposed, but they forget to say that, in order to make that happen and exit the EU, weíll still have to pay in billions to the EU to allow free circulation.So you might ask: why leave? The song ďThereís a Hole in my BucketĒ comes to mind here.

 

Now Iím not saying the EU is perfect. But you donít sort something out by walking out of it. I never got a business deal I wanted by storming out of a boardroom and then expecting them to dance to my tune. The truth is, whatever decisions the Brussels lot take Ė about trade, national security, whatever Ė it really matters to us. We need to be there, making Britainís voice heard. Does anyone seriously think theyíd listen to us if we left?

 

The Brexit mob give us all this rubbish about being like Canada, Norway or Albania. But Canada canít easily sell things like financial services to the EU. So thatís no good for us. Norway pays as much into Europe per head as we do, accepts more EU migrants, and, get this, has no say or voice over the EU rules. So thatís no good. And donít even get me started on Albania.

 

Youíve even got some people saying: ďwell, Greenland left the EU.Ē Greenland has a population of 55,000. It only really sells fish. And it took 3 years of uncertainty when they tried to leave. Thatís just one industry. Can you imagine trying to wind down agreements on so many other sectors? It could take 10 years.

 

When I talk to people in the street who are confused over this, some say: ďwell look, letís give it a tryĒ. Thatís a ridiculous and dangerous attitude. You couldnít be talking to a bigger gambler than me. Iíve gambled all my life in business. But when itís the fate of our country youíre being asked to put on the table, I say itís a gamble too far.

 

Iím not the only one saying this. Youíve got leading economists, big time business bosses, scientists, politicians Ė people who are normally at each otherís throats Ė singing from the same hymn sheet. If you can get them all agreeing on something, that gives you a big clue about how important this all is.

 

As for me, I come at this from a neutral perspective. Iím not affiliated to a political party. Iíve got no personal agenda. My only agenda is, is that having lived in Britain for 69 years, a country which I love, I donít want to see a massive mistake being made by those who simply donít understand the ramifications of leaving the EU.

 

People try to dismiss these warnings as Project Fear. Iíll tell you what Ė this fear isnít imagined; itís real. Because this isnít a general election. We canít say in 5 years: ďoh it didn't work Ė weíll just have another voteĒ. Itís the most serious vote youíll probably make in your lifetime. So, for the sake of Britain, I hope you trust me and my instincts, and, on June 23rd, vote to remain.