10 Compelling Reasons to Stay in the EU
10 Compelling Reasons to Stay
With the UK wide EU referendum vote on staying in or leaving the EU imminent, you may want to start considering some of the issues, however you choose to vote. Here are my top 10 compelling reasons to stay in the EU.
1. Quoting Churchill: To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. With the longest European peace-time ever, this reason alone is worth whatever price we have to pay for it, and to me is worth more that the other 9 reasons put together.
2. How many Brits now enjoy visa-free, straight-forward travel to our partner countries? Perhaps the questions is best asked the other way around? Has anyone not benefited?
3. When abroad, if you have fallen ill, you know what a blessing it is to have EU-wide healthcare. If you haven’t been ill abroad, how will you handle it if we are outside the EU and you fall ill, and how much will that cost you, or your relatives?
4. Open access to the world’s biggest market. Yes, we may eventually negotiate free-trade deals with the EU if we leave… in which case, isn’t it better to stay in and save all that money being needlessly spent on even more jollies for civil servants and politicians?
5. How many Brits now have homes and holiday homes in EU countries? That will be a lot harder unless we stay. Not to mention the costs of the transitional arrangements! More money needlessly spent on jollies for civil servants and politicians
6. How many Brits work in or have retired to EU countries? Can you imagine the chaos that dealing with their departure, transitional arrangements, or change in pension arrangements would cause? Lots of needless work for civil servants, with all the waste that entails!
7. Cultural diversity is almost always a benefit to a country. To students of history, the USA is known as a prime example. In the UK we have vast numbers of people bringing their ideas and approaches, their drive, their appreciation of our way of life. Do we really want to stop such brilliant people sharing their magic?
8. We all complain about “rip-off Britain.” Can you imagine how much more of a rip-off it will be if the moderating influence of the EU has gone?
9. Is there any deprived area in the UK that has not benefited from an EU development project? British governments of all colours put investment money where their voters benefit most. The EU, mostly, puts money where the need is greatest.
10. Influence on the world stage. We want influence, but we don’t want to be controlled. We most certainly (if opinion polls are to be believed) don’t want to be part of a European federal state. With the British Commonwealth being an historical curiosity of friends, do we really want to walk away from what is for us, now, effectively, the Commonwealth of Europe?
However you choose to vote in the EU referendum, please, please treat those who have other views in the way you would wish to be treated: as someone who holds your views for principled and well-thought-out reasons. I believe it is best for us to be in the EU, and am entirely happy to recognise the integrity of those who disagree.
Please remember, however you vote, we will have to work together after the 23rd of June. We might disagree, but I will defend to the death your right to disagree! I hope you feel that way, too.
Perhaps I should list that last point, freedom of speech, as an 11th compelling reason, since it is shared by all EU countries. Indeed, it is a requirement of membership. Those are the people I want to have a future with. How about you?
We started with Churchill, let’s end by paraphrasing his wisdom: The EU may not be perfect, but it is the least imperfect of all the alternatives.
Prof Nigel MacLennan Copyright 2016