Transcript of Ed’s interview with BBC News from Washington DC

Transcript of Ed’s interview with BBC News from Washington DC:

Interviewer: “You’re here in Washington at the moment, we’re often told about the special relationship between Britain and America. What’s your view of the special relationship at the moment between the two countries?”

Ed Balls: “I think we have a common challenge not just to meet issues of international security but also to make sure that our economies not only grow but deliver rising living standards and we’ve been seeing stagnating living standards in Britain and America.

“And I think there’s another issue that is very striking to me. The biggest risk for Britain in the next few years, the biggest economic risk, would be for us to leave the EU and we have a Prime Minister who at the moment is saying that it is on the table.

“In my view, sleepwalking to exit from Europe would mean we would lose investment, we would lose jobs, we would lose big companies going to other parts of the world to invest. And we would lose influence in Europe and in America too. I think we would pay a long term cost.

“I think what David Cameron is proposing, to play fast and loose with Britain’s relationship with Europe is the biggest risk for our economy for the next few years…

“Our two biggest trading partners are Europe and America and it is vital that we continue to trade with both. But at the moment a Conservative government, if elected, after the general election would put at risk our relationship with Europe and our influence with America, by putting on the table our relationship with the European Union.

“I think we would lose investment, we would lose jobs and we would lose influence. It would be a very, very risky proposition. I don’t think David Cameron has got a grip on the European debate in his party, I think he is sleepwalking Britain to exit.

“And when I speak to people here in Washington, and in capitals round the world, people say, ‘Britain leaving Europe? A referendum in a couple of years time? Why is David Cameron proposing to take such big risks with Britain’s economic future?’ I think they’re right.”

Ends

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Posted January 15th, 2015 by Ed's team