Since joining the EU in 1974 Britain has had ambivalent feelings towards the European Union. It has been sceptical of grand projects such as the single currency which it refrained from. With a current coalition government and the Conservatives as the head, Euro-scepticism seems to be on the rise. So the question is it time for Britain to stand alone and abandon the EU dream?
The EU is an economic and political union of 28 member states. It has delivered more than 60 years of peace, stability and prosperity in Europe, helped raise citizens’ living standards, launched a single European currency and is progressively building a single Europe –wide free market for goods, services, people and capital. Yet, with all these achievements Britain a current member remains as sceptical as ever of this union. This has lead to many debates as to whether Britain should call it quits and divorce this partnership.
Lord Mandelson argues that Britain would be ‘stark staring bonkers’ if it turned its back on the European Union. The direction would erode the country’s ability to trade with others and throw the nation’s economic recovery into jeopardy. Also according to the Independent, the North and midlands would be hit the hardest by Britain quitting the European Union, according to an economic analysis which revealed that the number of jobs which are dependent on trade links with the bloc now exceeds 4 million.
British media is inundated with headlines depicting immigration issues and economic burdens that stem from the integration of the EU. But can Britain really stand on its own two feet? I am not here to provide you with facts, figures or answers. But before 2015 rolls round and a referendum is held on such a defining aspect of our nation there is a minefield of questions to ask.
How is Britain to stand alone if we fail to have any real profiting natural resources? The UK holds one of the largest trade deficits, standing in second place to the US in 2012. We are the 7th leading importer globally and while this is steadily improving on a monthly basis, this was due largely to the fall in imports in the EU.
Let’s move away from economics and move to legislation, Britain has been impacted by the directives, regulations and decisions made within Europe. A good example is the Unfair Commercial Practices Directives 2005. This harmonizes trading practices within the EU. It is the same for many other pieces of EU Legislation; they provide greater protection for UK citizens in a variety of countries. Ever wondered how you go on holiday to Spain, Portugal, or France on one passport and not a visa? That’s the beauty of the EU. The UK is an autonomous nation within a collective institution.
I am not advising you to become a Euro- fanatic, but I am asking you to read beyond the money grabbing headlines of, Britain overcrowded with an influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and look at the bigger picture. Who else is going to do the less glamorous jobs us Brits turn our nose up at? There are so many benefits we reap from the EU that personally I think its better we stay. I cannot cast your vote for you, but a look at the main parties promises for their next manifesto suggest it is likely an `in out` referendum will be held on this, and so before then do your research and don’t get blinded by the sceptics lies.
Eva Aisha Caley
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7DVUPTkLh4 Debate on should Britain leave the EU every good to watch