A ROSE FOR BRITAIN: Lord Stuart Rose, leader of the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union, launched his rallying cry at a launch event in London on Monday. In a speech, the career retailer and former chairman of Marks & Spencer said for anyone to claim the patriotic course for Britain is to retreat, withdraw and become inward looking “is to misunderstand who we are as a nation.”
The Britain Stronger in Europe launch event comes as pro- and anti-EU sides draw their battle lines ahead of a British referendum slated to take place before the end of 2017 about whether the country should remain inside the EU. In the meantime, Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership, and claw back powers from Brussels, in areas including the judiciary, EU migrants’ rights and financial regulation.
Rose also wrote a long editorial in The Sunday Times of London listing the advantages that Britons already derive from being part of the EU, including savings of 3,000 pounds, or $4,600 at current exchange, per year per household; greater influence with the U.S. and the Commonwealth countries; and greater national security.
“The European Union isn’t perfect — no partnership is — but Britain is stronger, better off and safer inside Europe than out on our own,” he writes, adding, “We have more control over our destiny by staying inside the EU, just as we do inside organizations such as the United Nations, or NATO, than we would by isolating ourselves. So why would we risk our clout by turning our back on Europe?”