Published on March 10th, 2016 | by frances2
Article from 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.