Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - Jane Collins MEP conference speech

Published Sep 26, 2015

jane-collins.jpgGood afternoon conference.

As your final speaker of the conference I will make sure I don’t talk for too long so we can all get in front of a TV to watch England beat Wales at rugby.

As Employment spokeswoman for UKIP I have the important job of ensuring that in the referendum campaign the message about jobs and growth thriving outside of the EU is understood by every voter.

It’s the decision which is at the heart of people’s decision whether to support Britain leaving the EU - and make no mistake the IN side will trot out the usual lines about 3 million jobs being at risk if we leave the stranglehold of Brussels as if having our own seat at the World Trade Organisation and deciding our own employment rules would be detrimental.

If people think they will be worse off as part of an independent Britain then they will vote to stay in - they will vote according to the pound in their pocket.

It’s thanks to parties like UKIP that it’s not the Euro!

The only jobs at risk from a British exit from the European Union are MEPs, Commissioners and big business lobbyists and my colleagues and I would be delighted to be the turkeys voting for Christmas.

So that’s why we must champion the huge growth potential of a United Kingdom that can once again trade with the world, unfettered by the European Commission and

That is why we must ensure people know that it’s EU red tape which costs businesses money and stops job creation and wage rises.

That is why we must explain that it’s uncontrolled migration caused by EU open borders that has led to wage compression.

As soon as the referendum was on the table - something I will point out that was brought about by the pressure that UKIP - that delegates here in this room - achieved we had voices from big business talking about how important the EU was.

Well, of course it is for them! It’s how they get their cheap labour.

It’s how they keep competitors out of the market by flooding Brussels with lobbyists.

Take Sir Mike Rake, President of the CBI and formerly deputy chairman of Barclays PLC.

In 2009 when Sir Mike was in situ, Barclays relocated some of their IT team to Lithuania, where instead of paying staff about £20,000 per annum which UK employees would be paid, they can instead be paid less than half that money.

So when you hear the CBI - probably during the prime slot on the Today programme - talking about how we need the EU for jobs, remember they’re only really talking about THEIR jobs and the ones they are EXPORTING thanks to EU rules.

In contrast the Federation of Small Businesses - the companies that form the backbone of the British economy - released survey results showing that small business owners are starting to realise the negative effects of the EU on their companies.

But what it also showed was that there are a large number of people who still think that if they are involved in exporting with the EU then they need political union to do that.

To debunk this most frequently used scare statistic, we only need to refer to a co-author of the ‘3 million jobs’ research himself, Professor Ian Begg, who said the claims were "a false perspective".

In research carried out with colleagues at South Bank University in 2000, Begg and his team found that “three million jobs were associated with EU demand” telling the Daily Telegraph in an interview this was “not the same as saying that these jobs would disappear if we left the EU.”

The scaremongers would have it that should we leave political union, the consumers and businesses of the 27 other member states who remained in would no longer buy any British goods, as if there would be no need for financial services based in the City of London or mineral extracts and pharmaceutical goods that we currently export to EU countries en masse.

In fact, we have a whole variety of examples where our membership of the EU has COST jobs.

Here in my region of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire we have had the closure of both the Eggborough power station and Ferrybridge power station, totalling over 400 job losses as a direct consequence of the drive to meet EU emissions targets.

Tata steel blamed “Cripplingly high electricity costs” pushed up by green taxes to meet EU targets for the lost of 720 jobs, mainly in Rotherham.

And Young’s in Grimsby announced redundancies after it lost out on a lucrative contract with Sainsbury’s to a company who have much lower costs thanks to a fish processing plant based in Poland.

In contrast, the chairman of Vauxhall, which empoys 35,000 people in the UK and operates two plants, has said it would be “unthinkable” that the rest of the EU would shun a trade deal in the case of Brexit and said the company would continue its operations as usual.

The chief executive of Hitachi Rail, Alastair Dormer who recently opened a factory in the North East where investment by the government is only £5.01 per person compared to £2,595.68 in London, said that links with our number one trading partner doesn’t necessarily depend on the UK remaining in the EU.

“Whatever the British public decides, what’s important is that we continue those trade links, whether we’re in the EU or whether we’re out,” he said.

“You don’t build a factory like this unless you’re here for the long term.”

As my colleagues have spoken about over the last two days, when it comes to all areas of our live and our country, be it agriculture or business, trade or energy policy, it is the EU which holds the key.

Employment is at the very heart of our campaign to regain independence for Britain and win this referendum, and to do so we must tackle the scare stories and instead concentrate on spreading the message that outside of economic union, the UK economy will thrive.

This is our referendum to win and with a strong, positive message about the benefits of a free, independent Britain thriving in a global market.

Thank you.

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