Four Reasons why Britain Should Stay in the EU

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This is a hugely significant time in British history. The EU referendum is an extremely important decision, but many voters still seem unclear about the ins and out of staying in or going out. Here are just a few reasons why, although the EU is certainly far from perfect, I’m in the “in” crowd.

  1. The European Convention on Human Rights This convention protects some of the most fundamental rights and freedoms of all of us such as the right to a free trial, and freedom of expression. leaving this protection behind could be a very dangerous move.
  2. EU Employment Law. This legislation covers such fundamental issues as anti-discrimination, equal treatment of men and women in the workplace, maternity rights, pension rights and parental leave. It regulate the contracts that employers have to draw up with their employees containing information about the length of the working day or week, amount of paid leave etc. Without this protection I fear that we could go back to an era where employers could exploit their workers in ways that seem unthinkable now.
  3. Freedom of travel. When I was in my twenties I decided that I wanted to travel, so I went to Italy and got a job teaching English in a language school. I was able to do this because of the EU. I made friends with an Australian girl while I was there and she was only able to work for language schools that were prepared to pay her cash in hand. I was able to work with a proper contract and I paid taxes to the Italian government. I want the same opportunities for my children and for everyone in Britain.
  4. Immigration. Research shows that people coming to the UK from other EU countries make a positive contribution to the UK economy. They pay more in taxes than they take in benefits. You can read about the research here. According to an article in The Economist, “Immigrants’ overall positive contribution is explained in part by the fact that they are less likely than natives to claim benefits or to live in social housing”. This is contrary to what certain political parties would have us believe. If we were to leave the EU, these immigrants would still come but they would find illegal ways of earning a living thus making themselves vulnerable to exploitation, working for less than the minimum wage and so threatening the livelihoods of UK workers, and paying no tax to our economy. There is much talk of “controlling our own borders” in the media at the moment, but how would we control our own borders without the support of the EU? Would we build a fence around our 18,000 km of coastline and police it 24 hours a day? It would be impossible. Immigrants would come; let’s just make sure their pay their share by staying in the EU.

These are just a few of the reasons I will be voting to stay in the EU. What do you think? Post your views in the comments.

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7 thoughts on “Four Reasons why Britain Should Stay in the EU

  1. Immigrants do *not* make a positive contribution to the British economy because they are mainly employed in low-paid unskilled jobs that are supplemented by tax credits. Additionally, their children require child benefit, state schooling and NHS care, all paid for by the rest of us. If they receive housing benefit, that is another cost to the state (ie taxpayers).

    That is not the reason that I shall be voting to leave however. The real reason is that a political union of more than two dozen countries, many with no common language, culture or history, if inherently unstable. It is Yugoslavia on a larger scale and can only be held together by dictatorship (as it is by the unelected Commissars in Brussels).

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    1. I don’t think that’s true if we are just talking about EU migration. Many EU immigrants are in well paid jobs such as dentists, and many have started their own businesses giving jobs to UK workers.

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      1. I’m afraid that it is true if we are talking about immigrants from the former Soviet Bloc, who have been imported as a cheap disposable workforce, in order to keep labour costs down. New Labour started this and the ConDems, now just the Cons, have continued it. As for starting their own businesses, some are self-employed as builders, but they are undercutting British workers in the construction industry. Professionally qualified people from within the EU should have no problem competing with those from outside the EU when we have a meritocratic Australian-style immigration system, applicable to all prospective immigrants, European or otherwise.

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  2. 5) To ensure that the jobs that we won’t do get done. We as a country need to have our crops harvested, to have our hospitals cleaned, to have staff in our care homes. Too many of us are either too “posh” to deign to do these vital jobs or not willing to do them for the pay on offer (and another group of “us” are not willing or able to pay more – we all want cheap food and find care for the elderly “too costly”). Do we meet this need by sharing labour with our neighbours or by vacuuming up staff from countries further away?

    6) Shared regulatory burden! We easily complain about “Brussels Bureaucracy” – but without it would we do without regulation of drivers hours, without regulation of safety of children’s toys and clothing, etc. etc.? We would either have to develop our own regulations and get our trade partners to accept them, or we would have to accept the regulations of our trading partners – a case of “all pay and no say”.

    7) There should be an issue of “social solidarity” – if we can decide where the boundary of our solidarity lies! Is “the sea” an adequate boundary (bad luck Northern Ireland)? Or is it just our immediate community (our street, the area served by our general hospital)? Or might it just be wider and include our national neighbours, who in the last century we had to help free themselves from tyrannies of various sorts (internal and external)? We have grandparents and great grandparents who lie in graves in Western Europe (arguably the cockpit of two world wars) – do we turn our backs on our recent history?

    8) National destiny – OK debatable – but worthy of debate. For all those who believe that our national destiny is with the world beyond our neighbours (possibly with a Trumped up USA?) there are those who feel that a huge amount of our destiny lies in Europe – and consequently in the structures of Europe. We have a contribution to make in shaping Europe – if we choose to do so, but being semi-detached is surely an awkward abdication.

    In the end it’s a judgement about a balance of costs and benefits – I just hope it does not end up as a judgement on Dave’s phoney “renegotiation”.

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