Shanika Knight

Naked Politics Blogger

The Conservatives are in power so a referendum on European Union (EU) membership is promised in 2017. With this being knowledge, everyone should be educated on what the EU contributes to the United Kingdom (UK) so that when they vote they can make a rounded decision. With that being said, below are ten reasons I believe the UK should stay within the union.

1) Worldwide the EU has the biggest economy. This figure is from the economies of all 28 member states and the States and China are close behind. Others have taken notice, and the union is no longer alone. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) was created in 2015, bringing together Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. The countries share a single economic space which bears similarities to the EU single market. The economic success of the EU is obviously one reason for Putin’s excitement for the future of the EEU.

2) The European community is stronger together. After two wars, the EU has made it near impossible for the members to go to war with one another. If the countries exit the community an atmosphere of hostility could arise. The EU has brought countries together where they have to negotiate, rather than scheme behind closed doors and use spies.

3) Access to the single market. The EU single market (the largest single market in the world) has lowered prices and made transnational business easier. The market benefits those within the EU so if the UK leaves in some way we will lose out. Trade is essential for a prosperous economy. Currently the government is working on ways to benefit from the market. 

4) The EU is aiming to become more democratic. The Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) brought in double majority voting, so for any policy decision to go through it must represent 65% of EU citizens. Turnouts in the parliament elections are low, but we vote in our countries representatives who gained more power under the ToL. The EU is also flexible, allowing the UK to opt out of certain measures in the treaty. Council meetings can be accessed online.

5) The EU is not part of the new world order. It is unlikely there is a secret agenda. It would be extremely difficult to create a system for world domination.

6) The UK does not spend as much as it could. Margaret Thatcher negotiated the rebate in 1984. This means the UK pays money into EU but also gets money back, approximately 2/3’s of what it pays. This brings billions into the economy. Most of the money is gathered from other states primarily France and Italy. Germany received a rebate for slow growth exemplifying how the EU can be used as a security blanket.

7) Companies would leave leading to unemployment. There are jobs which reply upon EU membership. As well as that, Europe has helped the success of the UK automotive industry. This report claims that 3,445,650 jobs will be lost if we left the EU.

8) Freedom of movement. The UK is worried about the freedom of movement the EU provides. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Citizens of the UK can live, travel and work anywhere in the EU. This would still be possible if we leave just not as easily. The EU observer predicts 2.2 million Britons live in other EU countries compared with 2.3 million EU citizens living in the UK.

9) Germany wants the UK to stay! In a speech to the House of Commons Angela Merkel outlines great things the UK has done for Europe, and how this could continue. Germany has the strongest economy in Europe, and unlike many other EU members is strong industrially and financially. Country-wise they are a good ally. We are not in a position where European countries are pushing us out, most want the UK to stay.

10) The UK is a small nation with increasing worldwide competition. ‘The United Kingdom in the European Union gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union and is part of the corner stone of institutions built after world war two that has made the world safer and more prosperous’, commented Barack Obama. A spokesman for Vladimir Putin put it in other words, ‘Britain is a small island no one listens to’. Although many refuted the claim. The UK’s advantaged position within the EU should be considered. With the rise of Brazil, Russia, China and others the UK could have less global significance. We cannot be sure that alone the voice of this nation will be heard on the world stage.

The UK should not leave the EU, we would have to deal with countries such as Russia alone. We would leave a union who want us to stay. We could experience further unemployment. We won’t know what will happen until we leave, but the deal we get through staying is a good one. Lastly, regardless of which way you vote, if the referendum goes ahead be sure to vote. It’s one of the only legitimate ways to get your view across.

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Last Update: April 29, 2018