EU economy row rages as Brancaster building boss declares: ‘We’ll do better after Brexit’

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A company boss from Brancaster has claimed firms like his will be able to do more to raise prosperity if voters back Brexit in next week’s EU referendum.

The comments from Jack Smith, who runs R M Smith (Builders) Ltd, were made as campaigning intensifies in the final few days ahead of Thursday’s poll.

Election Count gets underway at Lynnsport King's Lynn
Elizabeth Truss ANL-150805-111416009

Election Count gets underway at Lynnsport King's Lynn Elizabeth Truss ANL-150805-111416009

Supporters of Britain’s continuing membership of the union insist that the economic risks of leaving are too great.

But Mr Smith argues that staying in represents a far greater threat to the nation’s future prospects.

He said: “When we take back control over our economy, businesses like mine will be able to create new jobs and opportunities for young people, and increase prosperity to the local area.

“Britain will be free to make its own laws and not be held back by Brussels bureaucracy.

“We’ll also be free to build new trade links with the rest of the world beyond Europe, to the fastest growing economies such as India and China with whom the EU currently has no trade deal.

“The Eurozone is an economic disaster, it has left more than half of all young people without a job in Greece.

“We don’t want to stay shackled to it a moment longer than we have to.

“As a member of the EU, Britain faces many risks – uncontrolled immigration, bailing out the Eurozone and handing over control to EU politicians we didn’t vote for and can’t name.

“The safe option is to say goodbye to the EU.”

Although Mr Smith stressed he was speaking in a personal capacity, Vote Leave campaign officials claim that he is one of 240 business leaders across East Anglia who have committed themselves to voting for Brexit.

But South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who is campaigning for a vote to remain, maintains that the economic benefits of Britain’s membership are crucial to the nation’s economic fortunes.

During a campaign visit to a salad firm in Ely, she said: “Exports to the EU from the UK’s food and drink industry made £11 billion for the British economy last year.

“If the UK were to leave the EU, exporters would face crippling tariffs to sell their goods to Europe.

“As June 23 fast approaches I would urge the British people to focus on the significant benefits that come from being in Europe.

“Since 1973, the British economy has grown faster than France, Germany and the US, bringing us prosperity.

“A messy divorce would take years to resolve, risking jobs, security and the future opportunities of our children.”

Earlier this week, Carolyn Clarke, director of Lynn-based harp string manufacturer Bow Brand, also argued that a vote to leave would be bad for her business.

However, Vote Leave campaigners have accused their opponents of exaggerating the risks.