Originally published 19 May 2016.
In two speeches to local businesses this week, former Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood is putting a strong case for Britain remaining in the European Union.
Martin spoke to Winchcombe & Cleeve Hill Business Networking Club and to an audience at the Gloucestershire Business Show at Cheltenham Racecourse opposite a spokesperson for the Leave campaign.
"Cheltenham businesses, from high-end engineering firms to the social care sector, benefit from millions in investment from within the EU and employ hundreds of people from other European Union countries and would in many cases struggle to fill those posts if visa or residence qualifications ever got on the way" Martin said. "Our businesses benefit from their skills and productivity, the UK benefits from the taxes they pay - and of course we get the right to live, work, study, sell our goods and services and even retire anywhere in Europe on the same terms as local citizens. Why would we throw all that into doubt with a costly and uncertain divorce from Europe?"
"And the moment we voted for Brexit businesses all over Europe would start to think about how they could get the rules of the single market tweaked in their favour after we've gone and have no say. Town like Cheltenham with strong international links would lose out in that situation."