Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds on BREXIT

Allow me to introduce you to Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds. Nick( as we called him) was one of my tutors during my time at Oxford. A prominent barrister, academic and writer, Nick was already quite prominent within academic and political circles in Britain. He was elected as the Labour MP for Torfaen in May 2015 and is currently serving as the Shadow Employment Minister.  You can read more about him here.

We thought that after Surabhi and Andrei, two of our editors,  have written pieces on the BREXIT(  found here and here), it would be vital to discuss the significance and implications of GB leaving the EU with someone closely associated with policy making.

Nick Thomas-Symonds. Image sourced from official website.

To begin with, what do you personally think of BREXIT? I am opposed to Brexit. Britain is stronger in the EU. I am very worried about the effect on jobs if the UK left the EU.  

What will the BREXIT implications be for Scotland in your opinion? Given the comments of Nicola Sturgeon regarding a second referendum, very worrying. 

Where does the UK’s future job growth come from? (If not manufacturing) within a single market? There are a number of sectors for potential growth: financial sector, research and innovation, digital, service sector. 

What measures can be put in place to make the UK a truly bottom-up consumption led economy (Especially if BREXIT happens)?  As a party we are currently reviewing all our policies, I couldn’t comment on specifics. You will not doubt have seen our Shadow Chancellor’s emphasis on an investment-led economy.

In a world with an increasingly insular US (and with Trump being ambivalent in his position towards NATO), will the UK’s global influence diminish?  Should we leave the EU, I believe it would diminish our global influence. Inside the EU, we can influence a single marked of 500 million people. 

Does a post EU- UK still have a role to play in multilateral institutions? Especially in the WTO where the EU is represented as a whole too? Should it give up its UNSC seat in favour of candidates like India, Germany, etc.? This question points up the uncertainty of leaving the EU. 

Do you think the recent events surrounding the ‘Panama papers’ and Prime Minister David Cameron’s involvement will have an effect on the pro-EU campaign? It has not been coming up on the doorsteps at all in relation to the EU campaign. 

Is the Labour party receiving any form of support from the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) Group of the European Parliament in its referendum campaign efforts? I don’t know the specific answer to this question I’m afraid.

Recent polls suggested that following the attacks in Brussels the ‘Leave’ campaign gained significantly. Do you believe the UK would be safer in a reformed EU? I believe the UK is safer in the EU. We are stronger together and this is no time to split the West.

Information available to the public today indicate that both terrorists groups and organised crime groups are increasingly taking advantage of the little to no cooperation among the security agencies of each Member State. Would a Labour Government support the idea of a ‘light’ EU Security Agency charged with the task of linking the various police and border databases of all Member States? Or would it prefer the same voluntary intergovernmental format currently in use but with improved instruments? We are currently undergoing a policy review in the Labour Party so can’t comment specifically I’m afraid.

The world is seeing a growing trend of multilateral trade deals or between regional blocks rather than between individual countries. How do you see the UK’s global negotiating position if it leaves the EU? As I have set out above, I am very worried about this. It is the uncertainty that troubles me.

Do you think the UK will be better equipped to handle the Chinese steel industry overproduction once it gains market economy status without the EU’s involvement? No, I think the UK government should have done far more within the EU. I have raised the issue of the lesser-duty rule in Parliament.

If the UK votes to leave, what kind of post-exit arrangement with the EU do you think is most beneficial for both parties? Nobody knows the answer to this for certain, which is the problem. 

If the UK votes to stay, do you think the Eurozone Member States should be allowed to further integrate? How do you see German and French proposals for a Eurozone Finance Minister and own resources? It is a matter for the Eurozone whether it wants to integrate further. The UK can have the best of both worlds: in the EU, but not the Eurozone.

Please tell us two (or three) upcoming EU legislative proposals, such as the European Energy Union or the Single European Sky, that you think are crucially beneficial for the UK but that will also be out of reach without EU membership. Not so much specific proposals but I believe the workers’ rights we benefit from are crucial. 

Oh, and of course the eternal question right now, especially for the uninitiated readers around the globe. – Corbyn? Jeremy is inspiring young people to vote in this referendum. Labour voters are key to winning the referendum. 


Anmol Soin

Anmol Soin

Managing Editor at InPRA
Anmol Soin has finished his post-graduate education from the University of Oxford and the University of St.Andrews. Anmol will always credit his academic growth to his time at St.Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Formerly engaged as a consultant and a researcher for the 14th Finance Commission (Government of India), he has also worked for the Knowledge Partnership Program (IPE Global and UK Government’s Department For International Development).

He was also the Professor for ‘The Economics of International Relations and Geopolitics’ for the final year undergraduates at NMIMS. Having worked at multiple think-tanks, he brings his experiences as a professor and a consultant together to try and frame a comprehensive overview of International Economics for InPRA.
Anmol Soin


  1. […] me to re-introduce you to Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds. Nick (as we called him) was one of my tutors during my time at […]