Nick Boles MP, Minister for Skills, joined Robert Halfon, Member of Parliament for Harlow, and Vicky Ford MEP at Robert Stuart Ltd – a local business which employs nearly 100 people in Harlow. It’s team includes dozens of apprentices and the business forms a valuable part of the supply chain for a number of companies such as global aerospace business Airbus.
Robert Halfon said, “The chairman of Robert Stuart Ltd wrote to me a few weeks ago to tell me that he is really worried about the effect a Brexit could have on his business and Harlow workers. Robert Stuart Ltd relies on trade with the EU. They are not a big businesses, big businesses can adapt to market changes. This is a small business that employs local people that would lose their livlihoods if we left the EU. These are the people we should be listening to in this debate. Take it from them, not just myself and other politicians.
Jobs is the most important factor for me in this referendum. It was a hard decision for me to make, but to leave is a leap in the dark. I couldn’t look one of my constituents in the face if I had voted leave and the country votes leave and it meant them losing their job. It is companies like Robert Stuart Ltd, amongst many others in Harlow that have come to me saying the same thing, that explain my decision to vote ‘in’. I thank them for having us today to speak about this very important issue.”
Nick Boles MP made it clear that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and their opinion is clear – more than 80 per cent want to stay in a reformed EU. This is because the UK’s membership of the EU gives small businesses full access to the free trade single market of more than 500 million customers, and many small businesses are part of the supply chain of larger companies that export to the continent. It is largely on these small businesses that the jobs and livelihoods of people in Harlow and across Essex rely.