Article from Judith Kirton Darling MEP – EUmatters


Published on March 10th, 2016 | by frances


Article from Judith Kirton Darling MEP

By Judith Kirton Darling MEP

The question of whether or not Britain should remain a member of the European Union is the biggest decision in a generation. The EU creates jobs and growth, invests in major projects across the country, helps bring criminals to justice and to create and maintain peace and stability, and leads on tackling climate change and caring for environment.

The core of the EU is the European Single Market, with no tariff barriers and harmonised regulations ensuring the free movement of goods and services. The majority of European directives and rules govern the Single Market. Many of the directives which regulate workers’ rights ensure that no country within the Single Market has an unfair advantage by having the ability to treat their workers unfairly.

Before EU membership, not all British workers had the right to paid holiday, and all British workers are now legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. The EU also guarantees at least 14 weeks of maternity leave for working women, and men and women have equal rights of at least 18 weeks parental leave per child. Polling carried out for the High Pay Centre found that 82% of people support the maintenance of existing rights at work, but only 25% could correctly identify the EU as being the source of these rights.

The EU also creates jobs and growth throughout the UK, and the STEM sector in particular benefits from EU funding. The UK Office of National Statistics found that the UK contributed €5.4 billion to the EU research and development budget from 2007-2013, and received back €8.8 billion. Additionally, the UK is the second biggest recipient of research funding among EU member states after Germany. The EU has also supported 3539 UK based researchers to access 1055 European-based research facilities from 2007-2013, and additionally the UK currently hosts 6 pan-European research facilities.

The EU is good for Britain and good for the British people, who are better off living and working within a competitive, fair, and integrated Europe, which can protect our rights at work and at home.

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2 Responses to Article from Judith Kirton Darling MEP

  1. Rob Gregg says:

    It has also helped to provide a lasting European peace. Extraordinarily, a straw poll of the ‘Leave’ campaign would include many of those generations old enough to have felt the consequences of WW2.

    Amongst the youth, the notion of going to war with the Germans is received with much bemusement, which is a reflection of how bizarre it would seem to those born within the EU to fight fellow members of the EU.

    Of course another war with Germany couldn’t possibly happen, too ridiculous to contemplate…which implies either our past generations were war-hungry psychopaths or the current economic and political conditions have finally made such war ludicrous.

    I don’t believe my grandparents were psychopaths, therefore the economic climate fostered by the EU must have significantly contributed to lasting peace. Why on earth would we want to walk away from that?

    Oh yes, is because we want to give the politicians in Westminster (and the unelected Lords) more power and sovereignty. I’m sure we’d be much safer with our future in their hands, don’t you?

    • frances says:

      From Graham Stewart, Prospect Parliamentary and Campaigns Officer

      I’m afraid I haven’t seen a poll that indicates that. However I would expect that those who experienced the second world war and are still alive would have strong feelings about Europe. Conversely I have seen many stories of old foes who have met and forgiven each other.

      My own uncle married a German woman and returned with her to the UK.

      It was Churchill himself who paraphrased a remark by the philosopher George Santayana ‘that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’

      The referendum has provided a big enough public space for all views to be represented, but there should be no room for ideas that are based on prejudice.

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