'Membership of EU key to hope of investment'
THERE are fears global investors such as Siemens could "go elsewhere" if they judge the UK's membership of Europe to be in doubt.
Labour have voiced concerns after the Prime Minister pledged an "in/out" referendum on Europe if the Conservatives win the next general election.
Shadow Europe Minister Emma Reynolds told the Mail: "In a hugely competitive global environment, Siemens and other companies could well choose to go elsewhere if they think our membership (of the EU) is in doubt.
"They invest in parts of the UK like the Humber because it's a launch-pad to the rest of the European single market.
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"If our membership is under threat for the next four or five years then Labour is very concerned these companies could decide against further investing here and go elsewhere."
Ms Reynolds' comments come as the region awaits a final decision from German energy giant Siemens on plans to build a wind turbine factory at Green Port Hull.
During a keynote speech in London, David Cameron said he wanted to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU then give people the "simple choice" between remaining a member under those terms and leaving.
At Prime Minister's Questions Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart congratulated Mr Cameron on "going in to bat for Britain".
But Labour claimed a referendum would cause economic "uncertainty".
Ms Reynolds said the party did not believe "we should have an in/out referendum now or any time soon".
Meanwhile, Employment Minister Mark Hoban also told the Mail that recent job losses in Hull underlined the importance of securing investment from companies such as Siemens.
He said: "We need to press ahead with projects that will lead to new employment opportunities and particularly where it capitalises on some of the skills in the existing labour force."
But he also conceded there was "clearly a challenge" in terms of creating jobs in places like Hull.
Mr Hoban was speaking as figures showed an overall rise in employment in Yorkshire and the Humber, but a continued fall in Hull, where the number of people out of work rose to 15,267.
Hull North MP Diana Johnson tweeted that the jobless figures in her constituency were the "11th highest in (the) UK" at 12.4 per cent.
In Haltemprice and Howden, however, employment levels increased by 10.1 per cent, which MP David Davis said was "excellent news".
He said: "I want our region to keep outperforming the rest of the country when it comes to creating jobs."