Project Positivity: 6 upbeat arguments for EU

by Luke Lythgoe | 15.04.2016

As the official referendum campaign begins, it’s time to make the positive case for the EU – not just point out the multiple risks of quitting.

1. A Greater Britain on the world stage

In a world of resurgent non-Western powers and American frustration towards “free riders”, Europe’s foreign policy voice needs to be louder. Britain is in pole position to drive this forward.

We have sophisticated armed forces with nuclear capabilities and centuries of diplomatic expertise. We also have a seat on the UN Security Council, at the G7 and a powerful voice in the Commonwealth. These make the UK influential in the EU. Meanwhile, our influence in the EU makes us valuable to allies such as America and, by extension, more influential across the world.

2. Leading the fight against terror

The UK – with MI6, GCHQ and Five Eyes membership – has many assets to bring to the battle against jihadism. This is one of the reasons we have a big say in the EU’s emerging counter-terrorism initiatives. A Brit, for example, runs Europol.

Clearly, the EU needs to sharpen up its act. Britain is in a position to help. We are working with our EU partners to interconnect national DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration while implementing a new passenger flight information database.

3. More trade deals

UK consumers already benefit by perhaps £5 billion a year from EU free trade agreements with more than 50 countries. More are needed. Britain has been one of the main drivers of the deals currently being negotiated with the USA and Japan. We are the EU’s leading free market economy. We are able to use the bloc’s clout as the world’s largest economy to cut agreements that benefit both our consumers and producers.

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4. Completing the single market

The UK may overtake Germany as the EU’s biggest economy in the next 20 years. But the single market, which Britain helped create in the 1980s, currently benefits Germany’s strong manufacturing sector more than our financial services. Britain is, though, now leading the charge to complete the single market.

The European Commission has bought into this agenda. It is creating a Capital Markets Union, which will be hugely beneficial for our financial services industry. Meanwhile, plans for a Digital Single Market will benefit our tech sector, which is one of Europe’s strongest, enabling it to gain the economies of scale to thrive on a global stage. All these initiatives will also be good for consumers.

5. Free movement is good for Britain

EU migrants to the UK tend to be young and skilled. They mostly come here to work, with the highest employment rates of EU migrants in any EU country. They are also net contributors to British coffers, paying £22 billion into the system between 2001 and 2011 compared to natives who took out a net amount of £624 billion.

Essential services, like the NHS, benefit with younger migrants helping support Britain’s ageing native population.

6. Free movement is a two-way street

Brits are free to live, work or study in 27 other countries. Recent figures suggest 1.2 million Brits live in the rest of the EU, although this doesn’t include those living abroad part-time.

Free movement is beneficial for the old, who want to retire in sunnier climates. It is also good for young people, as it gives them more employment opportunities than Britain alone can. That may not seem so valuable today when much of the eurozone is struggling. But when the cycle turns, it will seem particularly attractive.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

5 Responses to “Project Positivity: 6 upbeat arguments for EU”

  • What’s wrong with Tory propaganda? It makes sense to me and that’s all I care about. Europe is stronger working together than apart. Simple.

  • We are better together to fight the contaminate of TTIP we are British Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish, We Are not American, this is Not America.

    We only have to look at the devastation Corporationism has caused across America.
    There’s increasing rejecting of this agreement across Europe, I believe it is the Big money corporations that are our nemesis.
    They are void of morality, compassion, or bring value to people’s lives, we are all a commodity to be intensely farmed for profit from birth, through sickness and health until death.
    They have brought Robots into high Street stores, so billionaires will make more billions for zero labour costs.
    A vast Swayth of white middle income Americans are dying early, there are no jobs for them, they can’t afford medical treatment, a large number commit suicide, some are driven to drugs and alcohol abuse.

    This is the Societies created by corporationism, TTIP goes much, much further…it in fact the most destructive force that could every be unleashed on society