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  1. ITV Report

Referendum debate: Would our economy be better or worse off if we left the EU?

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

One of the big talking points in the debate over whether Britain should remain in or leave the European Union is of course the economy.

The question of whether we will be better or worse off if we choose to leave is something that affects us all.

We've been trying to make sense of all the figures to try and give you the best chance of making the right call when judgement day comes on June 23.

What do both sides say?

Felixstowe Port trades between the UK and the rest of the world. Credit: PA

The remain side say each household would be worse off by £4,300 a year if we leave the EU.

They also claim 3 million jobs are linked to trade and that EU countries invest £66 million a day in this country.

On the flip side, those wanting us to leave say being in the EU costs business £600 million a week dealing with regulation.

They argue it costs us £350 million a week in membership fees and claim only 6% of UK firms export to Europe anyway.

Simple hey?

What do local businesses say?

Andrew Baxter (left) and Justin Seldis (right) both have differing views on the economy. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Bury St Edmunds-based 'Sunsquare' make high specification skylights for commercial and domestic use.

Managing Director Justin Seldis has suppliers all over Europe sending him top quality parts.

He exports to the EU and would like to increase that trade.

His belief is that leaving would hamper his company's chances of expanding.

Our relationships with our European partners are extremely good.

They have been for many years. This can only create problems.

What we don't need is hurdles. And as a UK manufacturer and exporter, this could create some difficulties and unknowns which are not good for our business or anybody else's in my opinion.

– Justin Seldis, 'Sunsquare'

But Andrew Baxter, who's company Europa has a base in Northampton, has a very different view.

He believes the EU is doomed to failure and is campaigning for us to leave.

He thinks whatever the short term pain, Britain would gain in the long run.

"Anyone who says that the EU is going to put big trade barriers up against the UK, is talking rubbish," he said.

"There's no way that will happen. We see it every day, there's about double the amount of goods coming into the UK from Europe than goes back out into Europe. That's in financial terms and in physical terms. And they're not about to start to want to stop selling those goods to us."

What do the politicians say?

Like much of the public, opinion is also split among politicians.

Luton MP Gavin Shuker is keen for us to stay in the EU, saying that leaving would put the economy at risk.

"There's no doubt in my mind as to why those that want us to leave the EU don't want to talk about the economy. It's because it's a slam dunk," he said.

"We benefit from being a member of the EU and we benefit economically as well."

That's a view that Bedford's Richard Fuller strongly disagrees with.

He thinks that we'd be better off going alone.

We should be confident that the United Kingdom is a strong economy in the world.

We want future businesses in our country to be able to trade with the whole world and that means that we need to take back control.

– Richard Fuller, Bedford MP

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