BRITISH EFFORTS to export civil engineering expertise globally will be damaged if the UK fails to strengthen ties within the European Union (EU), a civil engineer standing for the Conservative Party in the general election said this week.
'If we turn our backs on the EU, it will create internal trade links that don't suit the UK, ' said Tory party member Peter Caillard.
Caillard was responding to comments made by civil engineer and UK Independence Party candidate Graham Cannon, who claims that moving further into the EU would harm international trade (NCE last week).
'I think he's wrong, ' said Caillard. 'The situation is that 60% of our international trade is within the EU anyway, but we do a lot of trade with America, and that hasn't suffered.'
'Instead we should be working with the EU to expand international trade outside the EU, ' he said, 'We can be in Europe, but not run by it.'
But Caillard said adopting the single currency would hamper British trade.
'Our economy is more geared towards America, ' he said, warning that an attempt to merge with mainland Europe economies would lead to higher interest rates and inflation.
'A number of very powerful civil engineering contractors and consultants have strong international links and trade, ' he said, 'They got there without the single currency and they've stayed there without the single currency.'
Caillard now works full time at his political career. He is standing for Eccles near Manchester in the election.