Scientists for Labour

SfL Announcements and Proposals

These articles represent the official opinion of SfL. Due to the time taken to formulate these official views, there will be less frequent postings and articles here than in our guest blog.

SfL welcomes Chi Onwurah to Shadow Science role

Chi-Onwurah-at-Discovery-slider

Scientists for Labour congratulate Chi Onwurah MP on her appointment to Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy Science and Innovation. 

Chi has been a shadow minister with technology briefs since she was elected to Parliament in 2010, with roles covering the digital economy, cyber security, science and digital infrastructure. She has a strong background in technology, telecomms and engineering and we believe she will bring a lot to her new brief.

In response to Scientists for Labour's recent article on Brexit, Chi said:

"A Brexit that works for working people must deliver on high skill, high wage jobs and science and innovation are key drivers of the UK economic prosperity.  In its no-plan Brexit chaos Government is overlooking the factors that make innovation and science in Britain so successful, from European collaboration to global investment. Labour’s industrial strategy will place science and innovation at its heart."

Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010 she worked as Head of Telecom's Technology at the UK regulator Ofcom focussing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with Next Generation Networks.

Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS. She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France.

Chi is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School.

You can see Chi's parliamentary voting history at WriteToThem.com

SfL welcomes Clive Lewis in BEIS role

SfL would like to congratulate Clive Lewis on his new brief as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The new BEIS department covers a lot! Somewhere in there is a science brief and a bit of oversight of the universities minister.

On his MP website, Clive highlights the importance of science for jobs and the new knowledge economy:

"I'm passionate about Norwich’s developing scientific centres of excellence. I support institutions such as the Norwich Research Park in its aim of developing the city’s future by creating and supporting new companies and jobs based on world-leading bioscience and renewables technology"

We hope he'll keep up this interest in science and research in his national role.

You can learn about Clive's voting record at the wonderful theyworkforyou.com

 

 

Scientists for Labour endorses Owen Smith for Labour Party Leadership

Press release: 23rd August 2016

Scientists for Labour membership endorses Owen Smith's leadership bid

 

Membership votes 5 to 2 in Smith's favour

As there was an overwhelming majority for Owen Smith from Scientists for Labour members in a recent survey, we have decided to endorse Owen for the Labour Party leadership. 

We asked our members, whether or not we should endorse a candidate in this contentious leadership election. 76% of our membership replied to the survey.

The results of our Labour Leader survey were as follows:

  • Owen Smith 53% of all respondents (41% of all members)
  • Jeremy Corbyn 21% of all respondents (16% of all members)
  • No endorsement 25% of all respondents (20% of all members)

The significant number who did not wish to endorse either candidate may reflect how much further our politicians need to go to engage with the scientific community. Scientists are extremely concerned by the consequences of the Brexit vote and how it is already affecting science in the UK. I, for one, want a leader that can prioritise and steer scientific issues effectively across the Party and into Government. These are factors I feel may have influenced the vote of our members.

Both Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn responded to the request from Scientists for Labour to state their opinion and policy on several key scientific issues. We also asked for a 250 word statement, allowing them to freely set out their vision for science and technology under a Labour government. These are published1 on our website and were the subject of discussion in three articles in The Independent.2-4

Background:
Scientists for Labour is a Socialist Society affiliated to the Labour Party which is dedicated to raising the profile of science within the Labour Party. Our members are dispersed across the UK and come with a wide range of scientific and engineering experiences encompassing most disciplines from academic research, development, teaching and industry backgrounds.

Dr. John Unsworth, Chair, Scientists for Labour
(e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Links to articles
1. Owen Smith statement, http://bit.ly/2bjFhmW and Jeremy Corbyn Statement http://bit.ly/2bbxLNS on Scientists for Labour website.
2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/jeremy-corbyn-owen-smith-labour-leadership-contest-scientists-brexit-european-union-a7182601.html, 13 Aug 2016
3. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/owen-smith-labour-leadership-election-jeremy-corbyn-right-wing-brexit-deal-science-a7182646.html, 13 Aug 2016
4. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/jeremy-corbyn-finland-scientists-for-labour-economy-industrial-strategy-a7186666.html, 13 Aug 2016

Jeremy Corbyn statement on science

At each leadership election Scientists for Labour asks candidates to state their opinion and policy on key scientific issues. This year we have asked both candidates questions on key issues ranging from Brexit to Climate Change to GM crops as well as the basic infrastructure for science and evidence based policy within the Labour party. We've also asked for a 250 word statement from the candidate, allowing them to freely set out their vision for science and technology under a Labour government. We publish these here so that our members, Labour supporters and potential Labour voters can make up their own mind about candidates. The statement from Jeremy Corbyn MP is below. Click here for the science statement by Owen Smith MP.

Jeremy Corbyn's response

 

1. What do you see as the main challenges facing UK Science and Technology as a result of Brexit? What will you do to support this sector across the entire country, rather than just in London and the South East?

There are a series of major challenges facing UK Science and Technology as a result of Brexit. There are, most immediately, the threatened loss of S&T funding from a range of EU sources, including capital and infrastructure funding; there are the collaborations between scientists and researchers that the EU has fostered for decades; and there is the potential threat to freedom of movement that could seriously damage the ability of scientists themselves to develop the international collaborations that are essential to the conduct of research in the modern world.

To answer this, I think government needs to do two things. First, any threatened loss of funding needs to be guaranteed in the interim period, particularly whilst negotiations are underway. This is the only way to ensure that existing programmes are funded and the uncertainties reduced. Second, we should work with science trade unions and other stakeholders to ensure the security and growth of the sector in the face of difficult challenges ahead, including involvement in negotiations where needed.

Supporting science and scientific research across the whole country is a central part of my policy pledges to rebuild and transform Britain. Particularly in the light of the Brexit vote, it is clear that too many of our communities have been left behind. Yet there is huge potential out there in Britain's heritage of scientific research and in its ongoing world-class research. That exists across the country, like in the north-east's life science's specialism. We should be building on that heritage, rather than putting it at risk as the Tories' £1bn real-terms funding cuts have done. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has already spoken of the need to drive UK science funding up to 3% of GDP, increasing government funding for research as part of that with a commitment to longer-term real funding increases, just as the US, China and Germany are doing. Labour's previous ten-year framework for science funding provided a good framework for secure and stable funding; but alongside this, I've highlighted the creation of new institutions, like the US's ARPA-E energy research institute that provide space for blue skies research.

I want to see the UK implementing an active industrial strategy, focusing on new, science-led sectors like renewable energy and healthcare, that can provide the high-paid, high-skilled jobs of the future. Finland in the 1990s provided an example of how an economy can turn itself round with a science-led industrial strategy, drawing on scientists, employers, and wider civil society. I'd back this up with a new £250bn National Investment Bank and a network of regional development banks, able to unlock the potential of our regions and nations, providing the long-term, patient investment for high-potential projects that our financial system otherwise leaves behind.

2. Successive governments have promised support for evidence-based policy making, but have failed to deliver. How will you ensure that you are well-informed when making policy decisions, given that the current civil service infrastructure does not seem to allow for this?

The role of government chief scientists has been critical in starting to win the battle for robust, evidence-based policymaking – even if many of the decisions taken by this current government have appeared to fly in the face of that evidence, not least on the issue of climate change. I want to see science brought into the heart of policymaking: in the development of a modern industrial strategy; in informing public policy in all aspects; and, not least, in informing the public and improving scientific education.

3. Where would you rank climate change in terms of the current risks to the country, and how would you act to mitigate both its causes and effects? Should nuclear power have a greater role in doing this?

Climate change is the biggest single challenge that facing not only this country but the whole of humanity. Action to mitigate its causes and effects should be an essential part of how a modern government acts. We need to get on track with meeting our obligations under the Climate Change Act. At the international level, I think we have to take our fair share to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. Britain could be a world-leader in action on climate change, and in developing the low-carbon economy that is the best way to secure jobs and living standards into the future. So we will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy. We will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households. We will defend and extend the environmental protections gained from the EU.

The deal at Hinkley Point has brought the UK's energy and climate change policy into sharp focus. I've been particularly concerned that a major national asset is being handed over to developers and producers from overseas. This is not a sensible or democratic way to develop a national energy strategy, and when the costs involved to consumers, especially big producers, are so astronomically high, the economics of the deal make little sense. We'll be monitoring the situation closely to make sure the jobs the community has been promised are delivered; that users and taxpayers get a fair deal; and that the UK's overriding commitments to meeting climate change goals are on target.

4. The NHS currently spends hundreds of millions of pounds funding alternative and homeopathic medicine. Would this policy continue under your Labour government?

I don't support the NHS spending taxpayers’ money on medicine where it is not backed up by clear, scientific evidence as to its effectiveness.

5. Genetically Modified (GM) crops offer the opportunity to drastically increase global food yields, but have not seen substantial uptake in this country. Would you support their greater use within the UK?

This question gets us to the central issue of evidence-based policymaking. There are fundamental questions at stake about the ability of humanity to feed itself, but, equally, we must recognise the public concerns that have been raised around GM crops. I would want to see well-informed, widespread public debate on this and other scientific issues. On issues of intense public controversy like this it is only with public consent that progress can be made – that's what a democratic society should be about. I will fight for improved scientific education in schools, and have been concerned by efforts to undermine or remove key parts of the science national curriculum like removing climate change education.

6. During the last leadership contest, both the leader and deputy leader promised to have a cabinet-level minster for science. This did not happen. Will you commit to having a cabinet-level shadow minister for science?

Science certainly deserves more prominence than the current government is giving it, with both the closure of a dedicated climate change department and the disappearance of science into the expanded business department. This does require the creation of a Cabinet-level minister with a clear responsibility for science. However, I think science and scientific evidence should be present in every part of government policymaking, cutting across the different departments. The government chief scientists already do a good job of making sure this happens, but I would like to see scientific expertise brought into making critical economic decisions, particularly in the development of an active industrial strategy. Finland's example of the Science and Technology Policy Committee, drawing in scientists, businesses, unions and others in civil society in the development of a high-technology industrial strategy has been exemplary in this respect.

Owen Smith statement on science

At each leadership election Scientists for Labour asks candidates to state their opinion and policy on key scientific issues. This year we have asked both candidates questions on key issues ranging from Brexit to Climate Change to GM crops as well as the basic infrastructure for science and evidence based policy within the Labour party. We've also asked for a 250 word statement from the candidate, allowing them to freely set out their vision for science and technology under a Labour government. We publish these here so that our members, Labour supporters and potential Labour voters can make up their own mind about candidates. The statement from Owen Smith MP is below. Click here for the science statement by Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Owen Smith's response

Thank you for your email regarding the leadership campaign. Can I first of all welcome the chance to answer the points you raise and also to express my gratitude for the role SfL plays within the party. I know many of you are concerned that science policy is sometimes an afterthought amongst many politicians; it must not be that and as leader I would want to work with you and the extended science community to help ensure we draw in the very best science to assist policy making.

I will now address the 6 questions you have asked:

1. What do you see as the main challenges facing UK Science and Technology as a result of Brexit? What will you do to support this sector across the entire country, rather than just in London and the South East?

Brexit is extremely damaging to UK science. Free movement and the single market have been positive for UK science. EU programmes such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus and other programmes, and infrastructure funds coming from budget heads like ERDF, are associated with many of our science investments. These are not simply economic considerations but are fundamental to the way in which modern science is undertaken. The government have thus far failed to properly calculate how much that is yet alone set out a strategy for the future. That is why as Leader I would lead a strong and competent opposition to prevent right-wing Leavers negotiating a right-wing deal. It is also why I have committed to a second referendum or general election on the terms of Brexit – the people should have the final say on whether they are happy with the Tory deal.

However science and technology faces a longer term problem that has carried on throughout successive governments. R&D spending as a percentage of GDP is below the EU average and around half the internationally recognised ambition of 3% of GDP. As part of my £200bn British New Deal, £40bn will be invested in the new industries of the future, and as part of that we will invest £15bn into the Green Investment Bank.

On the second part of your question, I have argued at many meetings during this campaign that we need a strategy that embraces the whole of the UK, partly because of the moral case that demands greater equality across our Nations, but also because it is absurd to disregard the talent pool outside of London and the South East. Countries that have established regional economic policies with mechanisms to engage with scientists and engineers have been able to weather the storm of global economic downturns better than us and we should learn from them. I would want to work with the science community not just in central government but also see them engaged at a regional level to explore how we can maximise the use of the skills we have and to develop the next generation. As an example, we have heard a lot of rhetoric about the Northern Powerhouse but little is happening on the ground. I have pledged that £50bn of the British New Deal will be invested in the North of England.

2. Successive governments have promised support for evidence-based policy making, but have failed to deliver. How will you ensure that you are well-informed when making policy decisions, given that the current civil service infrastructure does not seem to allow for this?

I sympathise with the question when one looks at the way in which Owen Paterson developed policy based evidence, but there are some good news stories! Since Harold Wilson appointed Solly Zuckerman in 1964 as the very first government chief scientist, there have been steps in the right direction. The network of departmental chief scientists is now well established and the scientific input into policy making is far better than it was. It is at its best when there is a strong science minister (I will come back to that in answer to q6) and a strong GCSA. One of the things I would like to explore with scientists and engineers is whether we can create a better way of drawing in all the expertise that exists. The system for dealing with science advice in emergencies that was radically changed by John Beddington provides a model of what we might consider – not just in emergencies but routinely.

3. Where would you rank climate change in terms of the current risks to the country, and how would you act to mitigate both its causes and effects? Should nuclear power have a greater role in doing this?

The first duty of a government is to protect its people. Climate change must be treated very seriously and we need to be mindful of our global responsibilities as well as risks to our country. I would start by saying we should be proud of the work Labour did in this area we were last in government. The whole of this debate creates both problems and opportunities for any advanced nation. There is a huge amount of work being undertaken on fuel efficiency, low carbon and zero carbon technologies where the UK has a lot to offer.

The Government is on the path to privatizing the Green Investment Bank, a decision that is wrong for the green economy, and wrong for Britain. Under my leadership, it would be in Government hands. So far the bank has committed £2.7bn to the UK’s green economy generating transactions of £11bn. But to achieve our legally binding environment targets we require an investment of £330bn in the UK’s green economy by 2020 - investment to date is less than half that. So under my leadership, I would capitalise the bank with a massive injection of £15bn over the next five years.

We have increasing power demands which we cannot meet without a mixed portfolio of energy sources, including nuclear. We should be getting on with Hinkley Point, not least because there are thousands and thousands of jobs depending on this project. Prevarication and weakness from the government is jeopardising those jobs.

4. The NHS currently spends hundreds of millions of pounds funding alternative and homeopathic medicine. Would this policy continue under your Labour government?

I don’t think public money should be used to pay for treatments that aren’t proven to be clinically effective. These matters should be made by clinicians, and based on evidence of what works.

5. Genetically Modified (GM) crops offer the opportunity to drastically increase global food yields, but have not seen substantial uptake in this country. Would you support their greater use within the UK?

It is hard to envisage feeding a world with 9 or 10 billion people without using novel forms of food production. However I recognise the concerns about genetic modification. In authorising the properly regulated use of any technology, government should proactively address public concerns. I would want to see independent organisations like Sense About Science playing a key role in communicating issues like this in a balanced way.

6. During the last leadership contest, both the leader and deputy leader promised to have a cabinet-level minster for science. This did not happen. Will you commit to having a cabinet-level shadow minister for science?

The Minister for Science needs to reach well beyond the current role within the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. There are hugely complex science policy issues that need addressing in almost all departments and in the same way in which the GCSA seeks to bring together science issues by co-ordinating the work of the departmental chief scientists, there is a case for that to happen at a political level. Some recent politicians are acknowledged as being excellent advocates for science without being formal members of the Cabinet. I am open to persuasion as to whether we need to make the post a cabinet appointment, but it is vital that we have a substantial figure in that role who provides the leadership and drive that is necessary.

You asked me to submit 250 words on my vision for Science & Technology under a Labour Government. This is set out below:

Science is central to the success of any advanced economy as well as being vital to help feed the world and address the challenges of climate change. Britain’s science and technology is world-beating. Think of our history as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and workshop of the world. From the steam engine to graphene we have revolutionised the world.

But our world-beating science and technology is under threat. In the short term Brexit poses a profound threat to investment and collaboration. I will lead a strong and competent Opposition to fight against right-wing Brexiteers negotiating a right-wing Brexit deal. It is also why I have committed to a second referendum or general election on the terms of Brexit – the people should have the final say on whether they are happy with the Tory deal.
Over the long term we have failed to invest enough in research and development, and we have allowed our manufacturing strength to wither. Less is invested in research, and fewer people make things. Our economy has hollowed out and we have failed to look to the future. So as part of the £200bn British New Deal, £40bn will be invested in the new industries of the future, and as part of that we will invest £15bn into the Green Investment Bank. I want our country to discover, to invent, to make things, and to sell them abroad. I want us to lead the world again.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to set out my views on some key science topics with you. There is much more I could say and as leader I would want to ensure that the machinery exist to enable us to explore those issues much further in the interests of the people we seek to represent.

Yours sincerely,

Owen

Seema Malhotra MP speaks up for the EU

On 18th April, Labour IN for Britain held an event at entrepreneur hub, The Landing at Media City in Salford. Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, gave the following speech in which she stressed why we need to stay in the European Union and why it is vital in order to safeguard the future of our economy and prospects for young people through science and technology advance. This was reinforced through an introductory speech made by Tom Jennings, a local young entrepreneur. You can read Tom's speech here

Seema Malhotra MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary of the Treasury, speech to the Landing, Media City, 18 April 2016

Friends, we are at an important moment in the Referendum campaign. The official campaign began on Friday. In less than 10 weeks, we will know the result.

Just a few days, to determine our country's future for decades ahead, in a world of dizzying, relentless change.

The referendum takes place against a background of a social, economic and technological revolution:
The rise of India and China, and the emerging economies of Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brazil and the others, are set to overturn Europe's traditional dominance.

Africa is on the rise. Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia - all had growth rates of over 5 per cent in the last year.

China is investing more in African roads, airports, ports and cities than the World Bank.

The world of tomorrow will be shaped by these new economies, with their new manufacturing, new service sectors, new universities and new cities.

Now here's an interesting fact.

Of the 3.5 trillion photographs taken since 1838, ten per cent were taken last year on digital cameras and phones.

We are on the foothills of a technological revolution which will give us drones to deliver our shopping, 3D printing, automation in every stage of production and distribution. Four US states have issued licenses for driverless cars.

On the other side, there are the wars in the Syria and elsewhere and the heart-breaking migrant crisis.

A maelstrom of change is buffeting our society and our economy, as we confront and cope with the realities of globalisation.
Our membership of the European Union makes us stronger in the face of these challenges.
They won't go away if we leave the European Union - but we will have fewer allies as we seek to confront these challenges.
Now in the early days of the campaign, the media were obsessed by the soap opera at the top of the Tory Party.

But this campaign is not about the Tory Party.

It's about the people of Britain.

And what Labour voters do will be decisive.

Labour is pro-Europe. We are also the party of reform in Europe.

Last week Jeremy Corbyn made the unequivocal case for staying in "warts and all" - and for reforming Europe from the inside.

Today I want to build on that message, to mobilise and motivate our people with a campaign based on opportunity, hope and fairness.

Let me tell you about a conversation I had on a doorstep in Feltham, in my constituency in west London.

I spoke to a man in his forties who was conflicted - between on the one hand listening to his parents, who are retired, and on the other hand worrying about what the future holds for his teenage children.
His parents, he said, were planning to vote to Leave.

They were fed up with the European Union. They see it bringing problems not solutions.

He respected their views.

But then he asked himself - what would it mean for his children if Britain did go it alone?

He thought of the instability.

He thought about his kids' chances and opportunities.

And he decided it was vital to get his parents to think again about what their vote might mean for their grandchildren.

He is not alone. This same conversation is going on in families up and down the country, as people grapple with the enormity of the choice we face, and the future we will shape.

There was an article recently in First News - the children's newspaper - that showed how it's the kids telling the parents what the European Union does and what it means for the future of our country.
There is a generational divide.

Today's young people themselves are convinced that their futures lie in Europe. They look outwards with confidence.

So, what we want to do is to prompt and encourage a conversation between the generations.

And I think we can draw inspiration from last year's Irish referendum campaign on equal marriage where such a conversation did take place - with the great, progressive result to legalise equal marriage.

Young people persuaded parents and grandparents not to vote for an outcome they saw as damaging to Ireland and reputation of the country.

Why are young people so positive about the European Union?

They have different priorities to older generations. They have had a different life experience.

Through TV that brings every corner of the globe into our living rooms, the rise of the internet and social media, diversity in our schools, online gaming with thousands across the world - there's an interconnectedness that young people today are growing up with as the norm.
They cherish the freedom simply to travel, to learn, to experience all that Europe has to offer.

When young people think about migration, they can see it in terms of the opportunity it brings for them also.

There are almost as many Britons living in mainland Europe as there are people from other European countries living here.

Yes, we recognise that immigration needs fair rules and proper controls, but we also see its benefits to our economy.

Being part of the European Union has achieved much for us on the environmental front - air pollution and food production and labelling standards being just two examples.

Young people also recognise the benefits for fulfilling their personal ambitions - particularly getting good jobs with guaranteed rights at work and good working conditions.

There's a three-to-one majority amongst under 30s in favour of staying in, according to a recent Yougov poll.
Meanwhile, among the over-60 the leavers outnumber the stayers - 63 per cent to 37 per cent in favour of Brexit.

But turnout is the crucial factor.

The hopes of the Leave campaign are pinned on the support of older voters - and on a low turnout. Not only do older people favour Leave, but experience tells us they are also more likely to vote.

There is a double challenge for us:

• Firstly, to encourage a high turnout of Labour supporters of all ages AND secondly - to get those thinking of voting to leave to think again.
• In particular, we want older people to think about what walking away would mean for their children and their grandchildren.
So my appeal to older people is - "Listen to the young people of Britain. Take note of what they think is best for their future."

It's what we call the promise for the next Generation.

That each generation wants the next to have a better future than they did.

If we leave, that aspiration withers and dies.

For us in the Labour movement - the big question underlying the choice between Remain and Leave:

How do we ensure a prosperous and secure future for all our people - but especially for the young. They will live the longest with the consequences of our decision and be affected the most.

To listen to the voices and tackle the concerns of today's young people, we must do four things:

First, we must understand, as most young people do, how our world is changing. And we must address the weaknesses in Britain's economy in order to prosper in this new world.

Second, we must ensure the maximum number of jobs, and best possible career prospects for young people - prospects that would be fatally undermined by Brexit.

Third, we must seize the opportunities that Europe wide co-operation can provide, for example in technology, science and space exploration.

And fourth, we must nail the ridiculous idea that the NHS will benefit from Brexit - a lie that becomes clear the moment we look at the record of Boris Johnson and other prominent Leave campaigners.

So first, the weaknesses in the Britain economy - they are very clear.

Forecasts for UK growth, business investment, productivity and average wage growth have all been revised down.

Leaving the European Union would make that dramatically worse.

And then there are jobs:

Remaining in Europe should be about more jobs, better jobs and fairness in the workplace.

Almost 50 per cent of our exports are to the European Union. Of the rest, 30 per cent are covered by agreements negotiated by the European Union.

When I have travelled abroad or met British businesses here, I have asked what makes Britain attractive - why would you choose to invest in Britain.

Companies tell me over and over again they choose to invest in Britain because of our language, our inclusive culture, our incredible heritage, our world class education system - but a key compelling factor is also because it provides great access to European markets, and through that to the rest of the world.

This ‘pull factor' disappears overnight if we walk away from the European Union.

Just last week, the IMF warned that the "referendum has already created uncertainty for investors; and Britain leaving Europe could do severe regional and global damage." A paper to be published by the Treasury today suggests households would, on average, be worse off by around £4,300 a year - permanently - resulting also in a massive hit to our public finances.

We are all part of a market of 500 million customers - and as well as opportunities to sell British goods and services, we benefit from lower cost products from other European nations.

The European Single market has been hugely important in making Britain much more prosperous than we would otherwise have been.

And as we look to the future, we see the benefit that Europe wide co-operation can provide, for example in technology and science.

We are part of plans to create a Digital Single Market in Europe. It will be an area of huge opportunity for Britain's Tech Industry.

The Digital Single Market could contribute more than €400 billion per year to the European economy and create the best part of four million jobs.

Many of these will be in the UK's thriving tech industry.

As well as listening to young people, I say let's listen to the scientists.

Scientists are modern heroes. I want to mention a couple of them - Tim Peake and Stephen Hawking.

Tim Peake, up in space, but talking to us as if he's in his living room, has captured people's imaginations.

He's there because of the work of The European Union and the European Space Agency, which are separate bodies but are increasingly working together. Some 20 per cent of Space Agency funds come from the European Union.

Now ask yourself this question would Britain, on its own, be able to put Tim Peake in space?

And I'll answer my own question.

There is no way, a country with the Britain's resources, acting alone, could afford to put men and women into space to push the boundaries of discovery.

What's true of space is true of the whole of science and engineering.

Which is why Stephen Hawking joined with more than 150 fellows of the Royal Society in a letter warning that quitting the European Union would be a "disaster for UK science".

They argue that Britain's membership brings increased funding and huge benefits from collaboration between British and continental scientists.

The European Union accounts for more than a third of world scientific output - outstripping the mighty United States - and that gap is growing.

The Russell Group states that the £58bn our top universities receive in research funding is more than the whole of Germany.

Collaboration between scientists across the European Union produces advances that might not happen if these brilliant minds are separated by national boundaries. By bringing together a critical mass of intellectual talent the European Union creates the conditions for scientific discovery to flourish.

Scientists say that pulling out of the European Union would cause immediate and potentially irrevocable disruption to critical UK research.

The longer term loss is potentially even more severe.

Leaving would diminish our ability to benefit from future technological advances in medicines, bio-informatics, green energy and space applications. Laser surgical knifes, European satellite programme and quantum computing are compelling examples of European Tech collaboration.

We could lose our scientists if they see better opportunities abroad.

Now it's not just the original research that is important but how it feeds through to new commercial opportunities and jobs.

What we might call the innovation pipeline.

That's why European venture capital and information initiatives have been vital in supplying more finance to start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs. As we heard from Tom Jennings, it makes a big difference to people like him.

At this point it's worth saying a word about the European Investment bank - a European Union institution in which Britain holds a sixth of the shares.

It's the world's largest international public bank.

It's owned directly by the member states.

And it is a tremendous force for good.

By walking away from the Union we would lose access to the huge level of funds it provides -- to businesses, universities, schools and local authorities in Britain - at preferential rates.

That's right, the European Investment Bank is lending money to organisations at a cheaper rate than the UK Government can.

This is because they have Triple A+ credit rating, whilst the British government has been downgraded to AA+.

Last year alone the UK received £5.6 billion from the EIB to help to regenerate communities and invest in infrastructure up and down the country.

Just last week the EIB announced that they were providing £500 million to United Utilities to fund vital water and wastewater projects across the North West, and to support graduate and apprenticeship schemes.

And in South Wales, the EIB provided £60 million to help fund the development and building of an entire new campus for Swansea University, with word-class engineering research facilities.

This will act as a catalyst for what is expected to be the largest knowledge economy project in the UK and one of the top five in Europe.

Why would we put at risk our access to this level of low-cost, long-term funding? It is of huge benefit to British businesses, universities, schools and local authorities. Those who argue we should walk away from the European Union can't tell us how they would replace this vital investment income. They ask us to believe it will be "alright on the night"!

This is where my two themes Listen to the Young and Listen to the Scientists come together.
Britain's excellence in the knowledge and digital economy is underpinned by our membership of the European Union.

Hundreds of thousands of young people are already employed in digital industries including creative industries.

Now I want to ask you a question which might produce a bit of a generational divide. Who produced Grand Theft Auto V, which in 2013 achieved the fastest $1bn gross sales of any product in global entertainment history.

It was the Scottish developer Rockstar North.

I use this example to illustrate a point.

The UK has the highest number of mobile games developers in the European Union.

95 per cent of UK games companies sell products outside the UK. The value of our Creative Industries exports exceeds £18bn. More than half of it goes to the European Union.

Britain plays a leading role in developing the market for creative industries and in getting the rules right.

And we now see the advances in creative industries being applied to medical and education technology, like drug and alcohol rehabilitation through use of virtual reality.

And just imagine you are a new entrepreneur like Tom. Where would you prefer your creative enterprise to be based - somewhere with a single set of rules for 28 nations - or in a country that had to contend with 27 separate bi-lateral agreements.

But the change doesn't stop there.

New technologies are increasingly important for our traditional manufacturing industries too. Like steel or the automotive sector.

Perhaps I should nail the myth about steel industry and the European Union.

The British Government failed to take action in Europe against the dumping of Chinese steel when other European countries were pushing for it. Tory Ministers stood by as the steel crisis loomed and then sought to blame Europe.

And the bigger picture?
The CBI puts the overall economic cost of leaving at £100 billion with nearly a million lost jobs by 2020. Other analysts say the drop in GDP will cost us more than we might save in contributions to the European Union budget. And the 5-10 years "short term" uncertainty economists talk about could be an underestimate.

And whether or not businesses up-sticks straightaway, close their factories, pack up their machines and ship them abroad, the key danger lies in the future investment decisions by those firms.
But it's not just about jobs and investment, it's about rights for workers.

We need to tell the Leave campaigners - there's a baby in that bath water you want to throw out.

European Union agreements protect fairness and dignity in the workplace.

They have ensured a level playing field - stopping bad employers undercutting good ones - ensured maternity leave, paid holidays, fair treatment for part time and agency workers and other anti-discrimination rules. The current EU review of competition and employment will help protect and extend rights for workers' in the future and ensure their employers pay tax.
Do we really want to trust your luck with Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage or Michael Gove on this issue?

And do we trust them on the NHS?

Boris Johnson came to Manchester and made the extraordinary claim that the NHS would be better off if we were outside European Union.

This is the man who in 2003 said people would value the NHS more if they had to directly pay for it. Other leading Leave campaigners also have form on the NHS. Michael Gove (co-convener Vote Leave) - in 2009 called for the dismantling of the NHS. So too did Tory MEP Daniel Hannan (campaign committee member Vote Leave) - who described the NHS as a "relic". UKIP MP Douglas Carswell (campaign committee member Vote Leave) has called for "denationalising" and privatisation of our healthcare.

The idea that Boris and his gang are defenders of the NHS should be treated with the contempt it deserves. It's the Tories who are to blame for the state of the NHS not Brussels.

So in conclusion.

Our world is changing fast. The challenges go beyond one nation's borders - whether it be the migrant crisis, tax avoidance or climate change.

Our membership of the European Union gives us stability in this ever changing world.
The European Union is also about peace - and about how peace can be embedded through international cooperation. The continent saw two world wars in the first half of the 20th Century. We have now had seven decades of peace.
Britain is undoubtedly more influential and safer inside the European Union.
Yes, the challenges are profound and immediate.
Our response must be to offer real hope and confidence in a better future.
Our goal for Britain is shared prosperity for all our people - young and old - prosperity that could be undermined by leaving Europe.
So this is Labour's opportunity.
We say the answer to the great challenges is more cooperation and solidarity -- not less.
What would we be saying about Britain? And what would it do for the reputation of a nation which has done so much to shape attitudes, culture and institutions across the world, if we were to walk away from our closest neighbours.
It goes against all we have stood for as an open and progressive nation.
Young people are telling us they want to remain.

For them, and future generations, we should heed their call.

Thank you.

Young entrepreneur speaks up for EU

Labour IN for Britain recently held an event at entrepreneur hub, The Landing at Media City in Salford. At the event, young entrepreneur Tom Jennings spoke passionately in the following speech about the benefits of the EU for his business. Tom was followed by Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury who also spoke on the benefits of the EU for science and technology. You can read Seema's speech here

Speech by Tom Jennings Young Enrepreneur at Salford Labour in meeting

When visiting my mothers for a family dinner, I get the feeling she's proud of me for setting up my own business, even if she doesn't quite comprehend what the "gizmos" we use are but which she understand are changing modern life.

Born in 1956, a phone was a red box at the end of the street which you had to put money before making a call. TV was a big box in the corner of the room, back and white picture. And what I now call a keyboard was certainly a lot clunkier in my mother's time.

Everyone in my company grew up in the 21st century – we are millennials. The pre-internet world is history to us. We have grown up alongside the development of smartphone technology and social media. This gives us tremendous experience into how they can be effectively applied in many areas of business.

With the aid of new technology and online media, small businesses like mine can be global from day one, reaching consumers on the other side of the world and talented potential employees across multiple time zones. The digital economy is developing rapidly worldwide and new technologies hold the future for most if not all of our traditional industries.

Through digital marketing; website design, Search Engine Optimisation and social media, my company Get Seen Media puts our clients in front of the right audience, at the right time, to elevate brand awareness and produce fruitful leads. It's summed up in our mission statement "Showing The World, What You Do Best." We do this by helping clients better connect to the business opportunities of the online world we now all live in.

Deciding to go my own way was risky. Starting your own business is one of the toughest personal choices anyone makes. But the journey continues to be the best thing I've ever done. Anybody who takes the risk however needs support and encouragement, and countless times over what has offered me the stepping stones for my company to grow is the EU.

It is evident in my home town of Warrington where we're benefiting from £1.7 million of the European Regional Development Fund to build a state of the art business incubator. It's designed to provide high-quality and flexible work space for up to 100 start-up businesses as well as research and development facilities.

Its evident in the roll out of fibre optic broadband in Cheshire through the European Regional Development Fund. Better broadband is vital to my company and thousands of others. It is the key to improved efficiency, richer conversation, better customer relations, and most importantly for us, more business.

Here's a fact to make you sit up – Warrington, a small town of 200,000 people has attracted over 25 European businesses who have now based their head quarters there.

Digital is a border-less thriving economy that will be significantly hindered if barriers and bureaucracy get in the way. It will hinder our ability to connect to the market of 510 million people, including 23 million small and medium businesses and the rest of the world.

We want Britain to be a country with a successful economy and more job opportunities; We want a country where we have rights at work and where we can take maternity and paternity leave; We want a Britain that is a leader internationally and is outward looking with the strength to make a difference to our biggest global problems. Like you, I want a Britain that is in the EU.

Upon taking up this opportunity to speak here today, I asked my dad who's labour through and through, which way he'd be voting. He said he'd be voting to remain because my generation would be the ones living with the outcome the longest. And he's right.

My generation will be the one to suffer most if we vote to leave on June 23rd. It'll be my generation that has to grow up in an environment without strong international standards; it'll be my generation that can't live or study easily in Europe, and it'll be my generation that suffers as our economy is hit as businesses locate in other European cities.

That's why I'm in for Britain, and that's why labour is in for Britain.

This referendum is crucial to me, so I want my party, the Labour party, to fight to remain with all of its strength. So I'm delighted that they have picked our best communicators and most high profile figures. It's a pleasure to introduce her; Ladies and Gentlemen – Labour's shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Seema Malhotra.

Click here to see Seema Malhotra's speech

 

 

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