Monday, 13 June 2016

So What Has The EU Ever Done For Us?

I admit that with the economic turmoil in the European Union at the moment, this isn't the best time for us pro-Europeans to be pushing for closer integration with Europe but with the likes of UKIP dominating the agenda, we have to make sure that the positive isn't drowned out by the xenophobic, negative froth coming from the likes of Nigel Farage and his ilk.
So  what exactly has the EU done for us in Britain?
Well how about the obvious, being part of the world’s largest single market with a customer base of 500 million which enables not just free trade in terms of the absence of customs duties or tariffs but a common set of rules so that business does not have to comply with 27 different sets of regulations.
Another great move was the working time directive that set a maximum number of working hours, guaranteed breaks, gave temporary workers the same basic conditions of work as full-time colleagues and gave workers the right to take parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Then there is the freedom to travel, live, work, study and retire anywhere in the EU, a benefit that 2 million Brits have taken advantage of and live outside of the UK in the EU. Working abroad has been facilitated through the mutual recognition of qualifications, enabling professionals to work in another EU Member State without having to sit further examinations. In addition to being able to live where they choose in the EU, pensioners can receive their UK state pension wherever they live in the EU.
They introduced an EU wide tariff for mobile phone calls and texts ending exorbitant costs for using your phone outside of your own country and British shoppers are now free to shop in any Member State without being charged customs or excise duties on goods for their personal use when they return home.
Cheap and air travel across the EU came about due to legislation with EU members rights protected if a flight is cancelled or who are denied boarding and the 2008 law requiring fares quoted by airlines to be all inclusive without hidden charges being added when you come to pay.
We have the EU Health Insurance Card which enables all EU citizens to receive emergency health care on the same terms as the citizens of the EU country they are visiting while the beaches in Britain are safer due to EU Measures that set a standard for water pollution.
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has been very important in bringing criminals to justice across Member State borders, the UK issued 220 EAWs in 2009
The University mobility scheme ERASMUS, enables students and staff to study or work at another higher education institution in the EU benefiting over 7,000 British students annually and academic research projects receiving over €5 billion in research grants from the EU.
Another recipient of EU cash are the deprived regions of Europe with such areas in Britain allocated a total of €15.5billion from the European Structural Funds for 2000 - 2006.
Thanks to the EU, its citizens are protected from employment discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability or age. Another EU directive set a minimal size cage for battery hens.
Most importantly, and the greatest reason for staying within the EU is the seat at the top table when it comes to World politics. It is arrogant to believe that Britain will hold much sway on a stage dominated by the powerhouses of America, Europe, China, Russia and the BRIC countries because we won't.
By being in the EU we are speaking as a representative of 500 million people, only China would have a larger population.
On our own, a nations of 60 million would not have much of a voice.
The world is changing, sure the European project isn't perfect, but come out of it would not only damage us economically but politically as well and we would regret marginalising ourselves for quitting an ultimately powerful and prosperous bloc.
Removing ourselves from the EU, the UK would have zero influence and Britain would become that small island off the Coast of the Superpower withering to a painful and self-inflicted demise and why would we want to become that?

10 comments:

Keep Life Simple said...

Seems like a lot reasons to stay.

But how is the EU bigger than China or India?

Falling on a bruise said...

28 countries in one single market.

Keep Life Simple said...

1 billion in China. 1 billion in India...

Falling on a bruise said...

28 countries in the eu, 1 in china, 1 in India...

Keep Life Simple said...

You text said the EU was the biggest market (and then you point out 500 million customers, not the number of nations). So I guess the number of customers doesn't equate to market size for you... Sorry, but as your business professor you get an F. You can use number of customers, or spending capacity to define the market size. Not number of governments. Otherwise, USA is biggest with 50 states.

Falling on a bruise said...

You will need to take up the wording with the EU who advertise themselves as 'The world’s largest single market with a customer base of 500 million'. You will have to email them though as the Freephone number is only available from within the EU.

As America is 1 country it fails against 28 countries as a single market which is 'A single market allows for people, goods, services and capital to move around a union as freely as they do within a single country instead of being obstructed by national borders'.

As the EU single market is 28 countries, China, USA and India is 1 country so it is indeed the Worlds largest single market and it does have a customer base of 500 million but would still be the largest single market regardless of the number of customers.

Nog said...

To get rid of all of that over a gripe about immigration....

Falling on a bruise said...

And it wont even do that nog so all for nothing.

Keep Life Simple said...

Ok Lucy, you go on believing that markets are best defined by the number of countries instead of the number of customers.

Falling on a bruise said...

Single market that would be.