The debate about the UK’s future in the European Union is heating up, with the announcement that if the Conservatives win the next election, a referendum will be called allowing the people to vote. The arguments for and against staying in the EU are complex, but expect to hear lots more from people on both sides of the argument before any referendum is called. Here are some of the main reasons why membership of the EU is a good thing for the UK.
Most of the buying and selling we do of British goods are services is with our closest neighbours in Europe. British companies are free to trade with our European partners without restrictions, and this would not be the case if we left the Union. There may also be tariffs placed on British goods, making them more expensive if we were not part of the EU.
The European Union has done more than any other organisation to ensure that the nations of Europe live harmoniously. Gone are the days where European nations regularly went to war with each other, and the period since the advent of the EU has been one of the most stable in history. There is no knowing where the potential break down of the EU would lead the UK, and Europe as a whole.
Freedom of Movement
At present, as a member of the EU a British person has the right to go and live and work in Italy, Germany or France without restrictions. If the UK were to leave the EU this right would not be guaranteed and anyone intending to move abroad would be in the position of having to apply for a visa. Job prospects would be limited and it may also leave the UK in the position of being unable to fill many low paid jobs.
Part of the job of the EU is to regenerate areas which are deprived or have high levels of unemployment. EU money has been used here in the UK to improve rail links, regeneration projects in the Highlands and to fund investment in renewable energies. Leaving the EU would mean all of this money would stop.