Anna Lo MLA said: “I am proud of the Alliance Party’s pro-European record. As a region, Northern Ireland has benefited enormously from our membership of the European Union and it is vital for our businesses that this continues.
“The EU gives our businesses access to a market of 500 million people and an economy worth £730billion. Our attempts to grow our economy and build a sustainable society would be severely hampered if we were to leave the EU. Even discussing the possibility of a referendum is damaging as international companies may prefer to invest in countries that have given a long term commitment to remaining within the EU.
“Europe has been vital to encouraging an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and helping grow our Small and Medium sized Enterprises, which make up a majority of our private sector.
“This is not to say that the European institutions are perfect, like others, we wish to see agreement on reforms that would reduce the burden of regulations on our businesses, especially our SMEs.”