Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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Would Keith’s company want to stay in South Cambs?

by Susan van de Ven on 30 May, 2017

Would companies like Keith’s find it advantageous to remain in the UK after the kind of Brexit proposed by Theresa May and agreed by Jeremy Corbyn?

Keith’s small company is typical of the many South Cambs high tech businesses that change people’s lives for the better through amazing inventions, and make a significant contribution to the public purse through paying corporation tax, business rates, VAT, National Insurance and income tax.

Currently on the go: a revolutionary device that injects energy into the heart during surgery to correct irregular heartbeat conditions, precluding the need to stop the heart altogether – thereby greatly reducing risk of not surviving surgery.

The American buyer that commissioned Keith’s company over all others in a highly competitive global high tech market did so because they could be absolutely assured of the Cambridge brand: the product and its delivery would be perfect.

That Cambridge brand doesn’t exist in isolation, but is part of a world of research and development that supersedes national borders. Freedom of collaboration across Europe has produced a thriving culture of innovation. And it’s not just the generation of ideas, but practicalities like the Customs Union that make it so easy to send and receive component parts in a supply chain that will never be restricted to one country.

Being part of the EU has generated a culture of ideas and contributed hugely to the wealth of the UK. What Keith’s company pays into HMRC can be spent on improving a school in Sunderland.

Let’s hope the next government recognizes what it is these businesses actually do, and helps them to keep doing it.

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