Opinion: 50 reasons #whyIamIN

nick clegg euNick Clegg’s passionate call this morning for everyone who cares about Britain’s future in Europe to speak out will have been music to Lib Dem ears – and those of many more beyond. As Nick said, the antis have had it their way for far too long. Their arguments do not stand up to scrutiny and the pro-European case is just waiting to be made.

As #whyIamIN started to trend on Twitter this morning, I started to think about just why we are better off in the EU, so taking my cue from Nick’s speech I came up with not one, but 50 reasons. Please feel free to add more in the comments section!

1. We’re members of the world’s biggest marketplace – with 500 million consumers
2. 3 million British jobs are linked to the EU Single Market
3. No paperwork for small businesses exporting in Europe
4. International companies invest here because we’re a springboard to the EU
5. It gives us access to trade agreements with 50 countries around the world
6. We’re negotiating new ones with Japan and the US – which could be worth £10bn a year
7. We’re taken seriously by the rest of the world because we’re part of the EU
8. British police depend on cooperation with their EU counterparts
9. EU cooperation has helped us catch terrorists, murderers and paedophiles
10. Organised crime would flourish if we left
11. Over 1 million Brits live, work and study other EU countries
12. Over 1 million other EU citizens live, work and study in the UK
13. We can travel quickly and easily all over Europe
14. We have access to healthcare when travelling too
15. Cheaper flights because of the Single Market
16. Passengers have rights if their flight is delayed or cancelled
17. Mobile roaming charges are cheaper – and will be phased out
18. Brits can retire in the sun and still claim a pension
19. We have better consumer rights – like exchanging a faulty product for 2 years
20. We can better tackle climate change with EU action
21. Our voice is louder at the global table as part of the EU
22. The EU costs us less in a year than we spend on the NHS in 3 weeks
23. No EU law is passed without the input of our MEPs and ministers
24. Britain is a major player in the EU and can shape it to our goals
25. The European Commission is smaller than Birmingham City Council
26. British universities and researchers benefit hugely from EU funding
27. Our students have the right to study abroad (and get Erasmus grants)
28. Farmers and fishermen here have a level playing field in Europe
29. Products are cheaper for consumers because of the Single Market
30. The EU is cutting red tape: over 5,000 regulations have been scrapped in 8 years
31. EU membership has helped transform 14 former dictatorships
32. The EU has helped keep the peace for half a century
33. Our water, soil and beaches are cleaner
34. Our food, toys and electrical products are safer
35. Lead-free petrol and better air quality
36. The EU amplifies our voice in foreign affairs
37. The EU amplifies the impact of our development policy
38. Everyone has the right to work without discrimination
39. We get at least one day off a week
40. We get 4 weeks paid holiday a year
41. We can have a 20 minute break if we work more than six hours
42. Women have the right to equal pay
43. We have the right to vote in local and European elections wherever we live in the EU
44. In countries where Britain doesn’t have an embassy, we can call on any other EU embassy
45. Support for democracy and human rights around the world
46. EU rules break-up monopolies and cartels
47. The strongest wildlife protection in the world
48. Improved animal welfare standards
49. Financial support for areas hit by industrial decline
50. We can learn from other European countries who do things better than us

* Giles Goodall is a Lib Dem European Parliamentary Candidate for South East England.

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44 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 8th Oct '13 - 9:17pm

    If you think selling the EU to the public will make them vote for you then you are mistaken.

  • Little Jackie Paper 8th Oct '13 - 9:56pm

    I’m quite agnostic about the EU to be honest. Not a common position I realise, but there you go. The list above is not especially strong to be honest in the sense that few of those need concerted EU level action. Those decisions could, and indeed arguably should, be made in states. Where I tend to be less impressed with the anti-EU case is in the way that I seem to be invited to take the view that somehow power, ‘repatriated,’ to nations would be used in the interests of the weakest in society. My sense is that repatriated powers would mean more corporatism. More fool us for electing the corporatists we do perhaps. As far as I can tell the one EU bee that Cameron has in his bonnet is the working time directive and that would seem to indicate what his stance is.

    Would a UK government outside the EU use its, ‘independence,’ to say curb wage arbitrage for workers with crimps on EU (and non-EU) immigration? Would it restrict the rights of foreigners to own residential property? Would it at least maintain consumer rights? I’d like to think so but it seems fanciful. Maybe the EU itself has a corporatist face of course – just I’m dubious that leaving the EU would in itself (stress, in itself) bring about real change.

    The EU does have a democratic deficit and has done for decades. A lack of democracy is not per se authoritarianism of course – but the EU is uncomfortable with models of majoritarian electoral democracy. However people get the rough end of majoritarianism too and may well see the rough end of repatriated powers.

    What will decide the fate of the EU is neither politics nor economics but technology. In 25 years time we will likely have real-time translation technology that will likely bring about a meaningful, ‘ever closer union.’ At the moment the asymmetries can not be glossed over by those without wealth and/or connections. But translation technology allied with transport improvements would be a game-changer compared to now. I don’t know what the future holds – none of us does. But we don’t seem to want to think about it much either.

    I’d like for debates about the EU to be about the future of how technology and politics will interact, not dry lists or fanciful stuff about how being in or out will alone bring about the land of milk and honey.

  • David Allen 8th Oct '13 - 10:19pm

    Little Jackie Paper,

    Great post. Full of real thinking and objectivity. You’ll never make a politician, will you?

  • Malcolm Todd 8th Oct '13 - 11:39pm

    “I’m quite agnostic about the EU”

    Oh how rare is that to hear! I think we should form a group, a Third Way not so much between as resolutely orthogonal to Europhobes and Europhiles. What’s Greek for “people who don’t really care either way”? “Eurambivalents”?

  • @Malcolm Todd
    “Oh how rare is that to hear”
    It’s probably not that rare if you move away from the opposing ideologies of UKIP/LDP, most people are quite pragmatic and will attempt to weigh up the pros & cons. I would guess that one of the big barriers to that is, of course, the scare stories circulated by the extremists on both sides.

    I actually agree with LJP, but I would add that the closer union could have been a lot further along if politicians didn’t create the frictions that cause disharmony.

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 12:22am

    As it happens I would like a United States of Europe. But these 50 reasons don’t seem credible to me at all…

    1. We’re members of the world’s biggest marketplace – with 500 million consumers
    …So what? The world itself is even bigger
    2. 3 million British jobs are linked to the EU Single Market
    …They’d be linked to exports even if we weren’t in the EU
    3. No paperwork for small businesses exporting in Europe
    …So what, we can arrange that elsewhere too
    4. International companies invest here because we’re a springboard to the EU
    …Very funny! If they want to invest in Europe they can invest there easily
    5. It gives us access to trade agreements with 50 countries around the world
    …We’d have 50 individual agreements the minute we left the EU
    6. We’re negotiating new ones with Japan and the US – which could be worth £10bn a year
    …We can negotiate them for us too
    7. We’re taken seriously by the rest of the world because we’re part of the EU
    …Joke? We’re taken seriously because were a small part of a big body?
    8. British police depend on cooperation with their EU counterparts
    …We could continue that if we were outside the EU
    9. EU cooperation has helped us catch terrorists, murderers and paedophiles
    …Noone likes these people, the cooperation will continue with us outside
    10. Organised crime would flourish if we left
    … Eh? It flourishes now!
    11. Over 1 million Brits live, work and study other EU countries
    … Why would that change?
    12. Over 1 million other EU citizens live, work and study in the UK
    … Why would that change?
    13. We can travel quickly and easily all over Europe
    … Why would that change?
    14. We have access to healthcare when travelling too
    … Ever heard of insurance companies?
    15. Cheaper flights because of the Single Market
    … Come off it, cheaper flights because we accept cattle class
    16. Passengers have rights if their flight is delayed or cancelled
    … They do on flights outside the EU too
    17. Mobile roaming charges are cheaper – and will be phased out
    … This will come soon to the whole world
    18. Brits can retire in the sun and still claim a pension
    … Why would this change?
    19. We have better consumer rights – like exchanging a faulty product for 2 years
    … Why would this change?
    20. We can better tackle climate change with EU action
    … But we don’t need to be in teh EU to do that
    21. Our voice is louder at the global table as part of the EU
    … Amongst the cacophany of all those Europeans?
    22. The EU costs us less in a year than we spend on the NHS in 3 weeks
    … So what?
    23. No EU law is passed without the input of our MEPs and ministers
    … So what?
    24. Britain is a major player in the EU and can shape it to our goals
    … Britian is a small player and can hope to shape it, that’s all
    25. The European Commission is smaller than Birmingham City Council
    … So what?
    26. British universities and researchers benefit hugely from EU funding
    … We provide that funding through our contribution! Direct would be a faster way.
    27. Our students have the right to study abroad (and get Erasmus grants)
    … They can study in the US too! And in Oz.
    28. Farmers and fishermen here have a level playing field in Europe
    … In what sense?
    29. Products are cheaper for consumers because of the Single Market
    … Prove it!
    30. The EU is cutting red tape: over 5,000 regulations have been scrapped in 8 years
    … That was the red tape the EU itself created in the first place?
    31. EU membership has helped transform 14 former dictatorships
    … We are not a dictatorship, we don’t need that kind of transformation!
    32. The EU has helped keep the peace for half a century
    … It’s prevented France and Germany from initiating a 3rd world war, yes
    33. Our water, soil and beaches are cleaner
    … Prove it!
    34. Our food, toys and electrical products are safer
    … Prove it!
    35. Lead-free petrol and better air quality
    … We would have lead-free petrol anyway.
    36. The EU amplifies our voice in foreign affairs
    … The EU also makes ours a small voice in a large crowd
    37. The EU amplifies the impact of our development policy
    … In what way?
    38. Everyone has the right to work without discrimination
    … Is this an EU thing?
    39. We get at least one day off a week
    … This really is a joke, right? We used to get two.
    40. We get 4 weeks paid holiday a year
    … This too?
    41. We can have a 20 minute break if we work more than six hours
    … Most of us have breaks every couple of hours or so
    42. Women have the right to equal pay
    … Everyone’s still fighting that one
    43. We have the right to vote in local and European elections wherever we live in the EU
    … So what? How does this benefit us in any extra way?
    44. In countries where Britain doesn’t have an embassy, we can call on any other EU embassy
    … We could do that anyway
    45. Support for democracy and human rights around the world
    … We do that too
    46. EU rules break-up monopolies and cartels
    … and EU rules are what helps them exist in the first place
    47. The strongest wildlife protection in the world
    … Are you joking? Where’s the evidemce?
    48. Improved animal welfare standards
    … That would be the badger culling?
    49. Financial support for areas hit by industrial decline
    … Like Greece, Spain? We can support our own too.
    50. We can learn from other European countries who do things better than us
    … We can do that if we were out of the EU too

  • Daniel Henry 9th Oct '13 - 3:00am

    Richard Dean, you don’t seem to understand that the EU is a unique “single market”.

    All the regulation is synchronised.
    This means that a company only has to make it to one spec and it can then be sold to any customer in Europe. The EU provides the biggest market of this kind, which is why it is so attractive to companies that want to sell to it.

    It’s why many non-EU countries set up in London, as they feel it’s the perfect platform to sell to the single market, it’s why the EU has much more clout when negotiating trade deals with other countries and it’s why it’s strongly in Britain’s advantage to have a voice in shaping these regulations in her interest.

  • Helen Dudden 9th Oct '13 - 6:46am

    Nick you have to play the full part, when you join a community. You have to achieve respect and understanding.

    Just returned from an EU country, in the past I have been to Brussels to visit, independently , a top lawyer form this country. We work, not your Party, but the Labour Party, who I have had to rely on for support and effort resolving international law.

    Ask your partner about the situation on law, on the Hague Convention and it’s failures within Child Abduction.

    Please do not try and tell me how you feel so strongly on the EU, I do, and I have just written on the subject of poverty in Spain, I wish to see better for these people. I wish to see better for all those in the EU, and beyond.

  • I’m British and European and proud of it. I’m sick of being shouted down. And if you want to make it very clear to yourself how right the list of fifty things is, read Richard Dean’s list and look just how wrong almost everything on it is.

  • Simon McGrath 9th Oct '13 - 8:25am

    I’m all in favour of staying in the EU but this list is a bit desperate.
    Just to pick out one section :
    “38. Everyone has the right to work without discrimination
    39. We get at least one day off a week
    40. We get 4 weeks paid holiday a year
    41. We can have a 20 minute break if we work more than six hours
    42. Women have the right to equal pay”
    Apart from the fact that the Equal Pay Act came in before we joined the EU there is no reason to suppose we would have these without EU membership.

  • David Evans 9th Oct '13 - 8:42am

    @Daniel Henry

    “Richard Dean, you don’t seem to understand that the EU is a unique “single market”.

    All the regulation is synchronised.
    This means that a company only has to make it to one spec and it can then be sold to any customer in Europe. The EU provides the biggest market of this kind, which is why it is so attractive to companies that want to sell to it.”

    Electric Plugs and Sockets?

  • Goodness, if these comments are the curmudgeonly response to a list of positive things to say about Europe then maybe pro-Europeans should just throw in the towel.

    @Richard Dean: I think your response would have been much better if you hadn’t sought to undermine each one of the 50 reasons. If Giles had written, “The EU hands each of us 10 solid gold bars each Christmas”, you would have written underneath, “So what?”

    Europe is the reason I joined this party back in the mid-90s, so I am pleased that Nick has started to make the case for Britain in Europe and very pleased that MEP candidates like Giles are joining him.

  • Giles Goodall 9th Oct '13 - 8:52am

    @Simon: UK anti-discrimination law (the 2010 Equality Act) is based on EU equality legislation, which means for example that you can’t get sacked for being gay or too old. The basic entitlements to rest periods in the working day/week and a minimum of paid leave stem from the Working Time Directive. UKIP and some Tories would happily eliminate these basic workers’ rights if they got the chance – which is the real reason many want out of the EU. The UK’s Equal Pay Act (1970) does indeed predate the UK joining the EU (1973), but it also reflects the EU’s founding Treaty of Rome (which has included the right to equal pay for work of equal value since 1958).

  • @Simon – my mum works in a low-paid job, and her holiday entitlement rose when the European rules on minimum annual leave came in – so being in Europe does mean our workers are treated better.

  • Richard Fagence 9th Oct '13 - 9:31am

    Any member seeking reasons why Liberal Democrats should be more vocal in their support for Europe could do a lot worse than watch Charles Kennedy’s speech to the Glasgow conference, if they haven’t already done so. Available and easy to find on YouTube and, indeed, on the party website. It’s not often a conference debate contribution gets a prolonged standing ovation.

  • AC Trussell 9th Oct '13 - 10:27am

    51. How about; It is better to work with friendly people that are trying to work together- rather than the “nasty” little islanders that make me embarrassed to be British!

  • Charles Kennedy’s pro-Europe conference speech can be found at:
    http://youtu.be/4poB2T-ohVw

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 1:08pm

    Synchronisation of product specs is certainly a benefit, but it’s not down to being in the EU. I can buy this Samsung laptop in almost every country in the world. I can buy the same cable to connect it to the same printer, and the cable has the same USB plugs on either end. Product synchronization is an aspect of globalization, not of europeanization.

  • Alex Macfie 9th Oct '13 - 1:21pm

    Eddie Sammon

    “If you [Giles Goodall] think selling the EU to the public will make them vote for you then you are mistaken”

    I rather agree with you on that; I think campaigning for UK membership of the EU, and campaigning to get Lib Dem MEPs in the European Parliament, are separate things. Talking about how great the EU is will not give voters any reason to vote for Lib Dem as opposed to any other party in the European Parliamentary election. In my region, the Lib Dem Euro candidate whom I put at #1 was the only one who actually acknowleged this distinction, pointed out that the in/out debate is nothing to do with what MEPs actually do, and campaigned on issues that MEPs do affect.

  • One of the best Charles Kennedy speeches.

  • Eddie Sammon 9th Oct '13 - 1:32pm

    Yes Alex, I did say it because I noticed he was a Lib Dem Euro-parliamentary candidate, but my point is also a general one that I think voters want to feel served rather than sold to. I agree a greater emphasis on the matters actually voted on in Europe would be good.

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 1:36pm

    Anyone who claims that Britain is a better place because Europe has imposed rules on us, is just handing the anti-Europeans a free goal. The claim asserts a willingness to lose “sovereignty”, which is what the antis claim they value most and understand least. The claim is anyway false because even without Europe, Britain would have likely been in the vanguard of a lot of the legislation on rights, anti-discrimination, HSE, employment, education, and a lot more.

  • Giles Goodall 9th Oct '13 - 2:02pm

    @Alex Macfie: I agree completely that we need to campaign on the actual issues at stake in the European Parliament and elsewhere. Unfortunately though, as long as the UK is trapped in an existentialist debate about whether we should be in or out, it makes it hard to debate the real issues. This is the dilemma pro-Europeans face and the tragedy of Britain’s situation. As long as we are doing the in/out hokey cokey we are stuck in a sideshow, neglecting the real debates about policies and the direction of the EU. However, I still believe it is contingent on us to make the broader case for our EU membership in the meantime, as Nick said yesterday.

    @Richard Dean: I made the point earlier that while many people in the UK may take basic workplace rights for granted, these could be under real threat in a cut-price UK outside the EU. UKIP and some Tories would happily row back on all these if they could – see for example the fire at will proposals.

    No rules are imposed, no laws are passed without both our ministers and our MEPs at the table. Plus our MPs can reject any Commission proposal they feel oversteps the subsidiarity mark.

    @Stuart, Richard Fagence, ATF: thanks for flagging Charles’ speech. It was indeed excellent and I advise everyone who missed it in Glasgow to read and/or watch it again!

  • @Alex Macfie – sadly I don’t believe that UK voters will head to the polls next May worrying about how the different groups voted on the such-and-such directive , but instead on each party’s approach to the EU. Not right, but there you go; people can choose to vote on whatever basis they please.

    And I think that campaigning on Europe is a good thing. Yes, the EU is not universally popular, but it’s certainly more popular that we are!

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 4:35pm

    My impression is that workplace rights in the UK were largely won by the UK’s trades unions and professional bodies, not by the EU. If my impression is correct, then to claim that the EU is the only protector of those rights is an insult to trades unionists, and is unlikely to win their support for remaining in the EU.

    Many comments here and elsewhere are so symptomatic of the catastrophe of the pro-EU lobby’s public relations. So many of that lobby’s claims are just so much ammunition for the antis. And many MEPs are offenders too – many seem too lazy to keep their constituents informed of their activities, and even when they try to get publicity, too many of their “success” stories are about winning power back or about stopping some regulation or ruling, which just suggests to everyone that we’re better off out.

    The 2014 elections provide a real opportunity for LibDems and pro-Europeans generally to educate us all about what the issues are, as well as to explain how these issues are best addressed at European rather than national levels, and to campaign for particular choices. I hope candidates will do this without more self-foot-shooting exercises.

  • Giles Goodall 9th Oct '13 - 4:47pm

    @Richard Dean: I don’t think we disagree much on substance but I suggest you check your facts before criticising the efforts of others.

    I’ve set out very clearly in my previous comments above which specific pieces of EU legislation these workplace rights stem from – I know because I used to work in the European Commission’s employment department.

    If you ask the TUC, I’m sure they will tell you the same. In fact they have run a very good campaign precisely on this issue to highlight how employees in the UK without the Working Time Directive: http://stopemploymentwrongs.org/why-does-david-cameron-hate-the-working-time-directive

    I agree completely that we need more facts in the debate. That is the point of my article.

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 4:47pm

    An example of the catastrophe is Mary Reid’s article which follows this one on LDV. The whole thrust of the article is that LibDem MEPs prevented a disaster which the EU would otherwise have foisted on us. Anyone with half a brain would see immediately that the potential disaster could have been avoided entirely if we weren’t in the EU.

    What Mary presumably thought was good publicity turns out to be disastrous publicity for the EU.

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 4:50pm

    @Giles Goodall.

    I know facts, and I know bias when I see it. “Working in the EC’s employment department” does not qualify someone to be an unbiased assessor of the influence of UK trades unions.

  • Alex Macfie 9th Oct '13 - 5:04pm

    @Richard Dean: If you mean the article on the e-cigs vote, you will see in the comments that the UK government supports regulating them as medicines. Therefore, presumably that is what the UK would have done if it were not in the EU. The difference is that in the UK, civil servants often draft laws with no parliamentary scrutiny or fake parliamentary scrutiny, whereas the European Parliament is not beholden to any executive body and always has to be consulted. This is not so much about Lib Dem MEPs “averting disaster” as shaping an aspect of EU law.

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 5:19pm

    Thanks for your correction, Alex, and mixed apologies to Mary. Like many voters, I read the headline and first paragraph, but only skimmed the rest of article.

    My apologies are mixed because the bit I read – the bit that many voters will focus on and which antis will emphasize – is the bit that contains the idea that MEPs role in Europe is to fight against the Europeans’ desire to grind us down with unwanted legislation. Even when it has been explained to me by yourself so politely and carefully, I can still see in this the idea of one UK political party using Europe as a way of ouflanking another democratically elected UK political party. That is just more ammunition for the antis.

    I live in Europe and work there and elsewhere. What I see from outside the UK is that most UK politicians, whether pro or anti Europe, are all telling the UK population that Europe is their enemy. The antis say it directly and the pros say it indirectly. I hope the pros start to realize that they need professional advice on how to present their case!

  • Mick Taylor 9th Oct '13 - 6:22pm

    Actually, the number of people who want to stay in the EU is far greater than the current number supporting the Liberal Democrats. None of the other parties fighting the EU elections next year will be fighting on a Pro EU Platform except us. Eddie Sammon is quite wrong. We may well garner a lot of extra votes from people outside our normal base who want to stay in. I’m pro EU and proud of it. We must strike back at the constant torrent of anti EU propaganda. There’s absolutely no votes to be had by following the mealy mouthed line of past Euro Elections – leave that to Labour, Tory and UKIP.

  • Eddie Sammon 9th Oct '13 - 6:58pm

    I might be quite wrong to you Mick Taylor, but that doesn’t mean I’m quite wrong. I’m just asking for a balanced debate and for some legitimate, even liberal, concerns to be addressed.

  • @Richard Dean
    “I hope the pros start to realize that they need professional advice on how to present their case!”

    That would be nice wouldn’t it.

    @Mick Taylor

    “None of the other parties fighting the EU elections next year will be fighting on a Pro EU Platform except us”
    &
    “We must strike back at the constant torrent of anti EU propaganda”

    Richard Dean commented “most UK politicians, whether pro or anti Europe, are all telling the UK population that Europe is their enemy. ” and he is right, in a recent article one of your own MEPs stated that:

    “The choice for the UK is either to stay in the club and follow the same rules as everyone else, or leave and take a chance as a low-wage, deregulated economy excluded from the market of 500 million people on its doorstep.”

    Can I ask you to take of your LD EU fanatic hat for a moment and think how that sounds? Doesn’t sound totalitarian at all really does it. Now can you name any senior non-UK politician who has actually said that the EU would exclude the UK as I can’t recall any such ultimatum.

  • Alex Macfie 9th Oct '13 - 9:39pm

    @Richard Dean: The role of MEPs is to scrutinise EU legislation from the Commission, much like any legislature scrutinises legislation. Mary’s article shows the European Parliament doing exactly that, in other words MEPs doing their jobs as legislators. If the anti-European take on this is that it shows how bad European laws are that they have to be changed by parliament to become acceptable, then it shows their wilful ignorance of how laws are made.

    I disagree with Mick Tayor, we should not be fighting the EU election on an pro-EU platform, we should be fighting it on a liberal platform. Whether you are pro or anti EU is a domestic issue, and MEPs have nothing to do with it. To allow us to be dragged into the pro/anti- EU debate in the Euro election campaign. To do so would be to implicitly accept the media lie that the only possible positions anyone can take on the EU are withdrawal or uncritical acceptance of everything the EU institutions do. Our campaign material should challenge this lie by explicitly stating that the pro/anti debate is irrelevant to what MEPs do, and introduce the idea (which Eurosceptics hate) that by voting in Euro elections you can change what Europe does, and by voting Liberal in Euro elections you will get legislation that is more liberal. In the same way as it would in national elections. The media willfully ignore Euro elections and MEPs, then complain about law from “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels”. We need to challenge this willful ignorance.

    We don’t fight UK elections solely on whether we are pro or anti the UK (in most parts of the country anyway). We should no more fight EU elections this way.

  • Nobody seems to consider here the fact that big British businesses like TESCO have built a huge presence in Eastern Europe following the 2004 EU enlargement. What would happen to these businesses if the UK left the EU?

  • Richard Dean 9th Oct '13 - 11:16pm

    @Alex MacFie
    You’re recommending that we ignore voters’ perceptions and concerns, and leave the opposition unopposed? That’s the way to electoral annihilation. We need to do the opposite!

    I’m no public relations expert, but the following seems wise to me

    > stop providing voters with a conceptual model in which Europe is the bad guy
    > focus on how we achieve agreement, not on how we win fights
    > focus on involvement, not on distance
    > focus on utility and relevance, not hindrance or irrelevance
    > emphasize how Europe helps, not on how it hinders
    > celebrate the benefits, don’t make minor irritations into major pains
    > interpret sovereignty as ability to influence future wellbeing, not ability to defend past glories
    > present Europe as happy and realistic, not threatening
    > … ?

  • Robert Wootton 10th Oct '13 - 10:31pm

    @ Richard Dean; I’m no public relations expert, but the following seems wise to me

    > stop providing voters with a conceptual model in which Europe is the bad guy
    > focus on how we achieve agreement, not on how we win fights
    > focus on involvement, not on distance
    > focus on utility and relevance, not hindrance or irrelevance
    > emphasize how Europe helps, not on how it hinders
    > celebrate the benefits, don’t make minor irritations into major pains
    > interpret sovereignty as ability to influence future wellbeing, not ability to defend past glories
    > present Europe as happy and realistic, not threatening
    > … ?
    This is whole point of my e-book! I call upon the MEPs and Mario Draghi to be the saviours of the member states national economies by putting in EU legislation an Economic Architecture that the people of Europe can choose to implement for themselves or not. A free choice.

  • “This is whole point of my e-book! I call upon the MEPs and Mario Draghi to be the saviours of the member states national economies by putting in EU legislation an Economic Architecture that the people of Europe can choose to implement for themselves or not. A free choice.”

    Robert Wooton :
    The whole point is that Dragi, Barosso et al., have no intention of giving individual EU states a ‘free choice’. They ‘unelected democratically’, by the people of Europe firmly intend to create a Federal Europe, and neutralise any sovereignty in the peripheral countries.

    That is why 83% of UK citizens want non of it. REAL Referendum Mr Clegg?

  • Giles Goodall 11th Oct '13 - 11:32am

    @John Dunn: Suggest you read today’s Telegraph, where Mario Draghi is reported as specifically saying (in a speech at Harvard) that Europe is NOT moving towards a ‘federal super-state’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10369503/Mario-Draghi-Europe-not-moving-towards-federal-super-state.html

  • Alex Macfie 11th Oct '13 - 1:36pm

    @Stuart:

    “sadly I don’t believe that UK voters will head to the polls next May worrying about how the different groups voted on the such-and-such directive”

    Nor do I. Principally because (as I mentioned in the e-cigs comments) the news media rarely pick up on this. Even our own MEPs don’t do it consistently. However, we need to start doing this; I am worried that a Euro election campaign that is simply pro-EU does not challenge the narrative that whether one is pro or anti EU is the only thing worth discussing about the EU, and nothing about the EU can actually be changed by voting. To give voters reason to vote Lib Dem in European elections, we need to show what our MEPs have done that’s different from, and better than, what MEPs from other parties have done.
    There does need to be a change in the media culture surrounding EU politics, so that European elections are fought on the issues that the EU Parliament discusses. It would be very nice, for example, to have an edition of Question Time with an all-MEP panel. The BBC should not be allowed to get away with putting Nigel Farage on the show and then claiming on that basis that they have MEPs and minority parties on their panel.

  • A lot of the above applies outside the EU – for example do you think the Australians drive around with leaded petrol in their cars and work seven days a week?

  • HILARY STONE 12th May '14 - 10:57pm

    My parents are Irish Catholic and German Jewish. They both worked in England since WW2. My brothers and I had church on Sundays and Schull on Saturdays. I therefore have a healthy attitude towards the benefits of loving the rewards of diversity. I could never support the bigotted attitudes of those who oppose the EU and everything that coming out of it would mean. I was greatly uncomfortable watching what was called a party political broadcast from the English Democrats. Their title is controversial and the broadcast was laughable. Long live diversity and true democracy. My parents and my siblings are all professional individuals. We work hard pay tax and contribute to our much valued economy as do my grown up sons. Biggots, look back into your own family history. Racists , look in fhe mirror and question your own ignorance and where you got it from. True democrats…..keep the faith x

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