As Gordon Brown warns that a UK outside the EU would be Europe’s North Korea, is he right?

Would the UK be more isolated if it left the EU? (Source: Getty)

Roland Rudd, the founding chairman of Business for New Europe, says Yes

Brown is absolutely right to highlight the dangers of leaving the EU, and the potential impact on Britain’s standing in the world. We won’t be like North Korea, but we would certainly be more isolated in an increasingly uncertain world.

As Brown says, EU membership supports “£200bn of annual exports and £​450bn of inward investment” – that’s worth £3,000 per household per year, according to the CBI. Were we to leave, British companies would face uncertainty of access to the Single Market, tariffs, and potentially damaging financial regulation over which we would have no say.

Europe is also vital for our security. The threats we face – a resurgent Russia, the rise of IS, the migration crisis in North Africa – can only be tackled as a group of countries working together. As successful EU sanctions on Russia have shown, Europe is vital to our security in a dangerous world. Cutting ourselves off from our friends and allies is the last thing we should do.

Brian Monteith, a director at Global Britain, says No

When the old political elite resorts to outrageous scaremongering, we can deduce that they’ve run out of rational arguments backed up by robust evidence – and are worried they might lose. Brown’s outburst is calculated, quite disgracefully, to strike fear into voters’ hearts and minds.

Instead of having “few friends,” the UK would, like the US, Japan and Canada, remain in the G7, stay in Nato, have friends among the Commonwealth, and remain the world’s leading holder of soft power. Instead of having “no influence,” we would obtain our own seat on the World Trade Organisation, World Customs Organisation and others, like the Basel Banking Committee.

Instead of “little new trade,” we could establish better deals to benefit direct from the 90 per cent of world economic demand that will come from outside the EU by 2024. And instead of “less investment,” we can expect our brighter economic future from free global trade to attract even greater investment.

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