Arguments for the UK staying in the EU

By | March 3, 2016

The Brexit campaign holds up the question of there being too much European legislation but they seem to forget the objective of legislation to establish and maintain norms in order to enable the free trade on which everybody depends.

Not all legislation is good and perhaps there too much of it – however, this is not a reason to be outside of the game, it is a reason to be inside and influencing.

Exporting into the EU would require Britain to apply and adhere to EU norms – so why would we want to give up our role in shaping legislation that we would have to apply anyway? Or does Britain expect to be able to scrap norms such as health and safety?

Sure, the mechanism of government costs money but the cost of Europe is an investment to be able to trade freely with no further formalities. If Britain were outside of the EU we would pay duty and incur administrative costs for every transaction.

The Sovereignty myth

Apparently, Britain would be better off outside the EU because we would regain our sovereignty and the power over decisions that we make. This sounds great – but what does it really mean in practice – that we could somehow unilaterally disregard our neighbours?

We have been in the EU for a generation and have effectively shared the cost of establishing a free market between the number of countries in the union. To leave the union and renegotiate all of our trade agreements would cost us unilaterally as much if not more to renegotiate everything.

Free movement of people

There is a long-held argument that somehow Britain needs to be in the EU to import skills. That may be true but it is perhaps more politically correct to be seen to promote simply British jobs. Isn’t it better though to promote prosperity amongst ourselves and also in our customer countries? If we do need skills from the outside then, of course, these people can come into Britain easily as required.

Free movement of people is an opportunity for people to realize their dreams by travelling to and living in other countries and as a worthy cultural objective which contributes to peace in Europe because of the furthered understanding between peoples.

Perhaps there is an argument that, as the French suggested, that national language would be watered down as we over generations create a European identity. I don’t see that happening, but rather people holding onto their history and being proud of it even if in another country from their birth.

Somehow the EU is held up to be a source of mass immigration. It’s unfortunate that this debate is happening at a time when there are thousands of refugees in Europe some of whom indeed want to come to Britain. And why wouldn’t they? It’s normal for them to want to come here as Britain and Europe have a successful and prosperous economy and high standards of living.

A social project

Britain seemingly complains about and resists what it calls further political integration. And what is wrong with further political integration that promotes social integration between cultures. Europe-wide institutions mean Europe-wide democracy and justice which in general help the people who need it  – the people on the ground.

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