10 reasons I’m voting YES for the second time

Ten reasons we MUST stay in the European Union
1. A huge number of the laws (especially those relating to rights at work) which have benefitted ordinary people in the UK have originated in the EU. When it suits them, different UK governments (which have often fought against these laws at the EU) have then taken credit for them in elections.
2. The United States and China are the two dominant world powers, economically and (soon) politically. A united European Union can provide a challenge to this hegemony.
3. Most of the criticisms of the lack of democratic accountability in the EU are because the member states want the system to work this way. The powers of the democratically elected European Parliament are severely restricted because member states’ national governments want to keep the major decisions in their hands (at the Council of ministers). Want more democracy? Strengthen the powers of the elected European Parliament!
4. The reason the European Commission so often seems out of control is that the European Parliament lacks the powers to control it adequately on a day to day basis. Strengthen the powers of the European Parliament!
5. EU migrant workers are accused of coming to the UK because of the welfare system. This is largely untrue; they come to work and because wages are higher. They contribute taxes. On the other hand, many older British nationals (and other northern Europeans) retire to countries in the sunny south of the EU. When they become old and sick, they often impose enormous burdens on the health and social care systems of these countries, many of which are at present struggling economically. What do you think should happen to them if the UK leaves the EU?
6. Free movement of labour has immeasurably contributed to the diversity of skills available for member states’ businesses (including many small businesses), making them more flexible and responsive to the needs of a world market than any national economy could do alone.
7. EU education programmes have enabled thousands of British students to benefit from new perspectives in other EU countries in their subjects and to gain new skills (including language skills) they might never have otherwise acquired.
8. Arguments about staying in or leaving seem to concentrate almost exclusively on money and business. Think about the dream of a strong, united Europe, which could be a real moral diplomatic (and economic) force in the world. We need to transform the EU into this, not leave it.
9. No-one wants all Europeans to be the same. The cultural richness of Europe is part of its strength. The EU has done more than national governments to protect and strengthen this cultural and linguistic diversity.
10. I personally am in favour of a federal Europe (and before you tremble, think of other federations – the United States of America, for example. Are the rights of individual states trampled on? Of course not!) in which decisions which should rightly be taken at a national level are. But whatever you think of a federal Europe, remember that the European Union emerged after centuries of European wars; so much more unites us than divides us. Reform it, yes! Leave it and become a little island isolated in its dreams of old glories? No thank you!

A passionate “Stay in” supporter, who voted “yes” in 1975 and will do again this year.
Erif Rison
erif rison

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