Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Why We Must Remain: A Letter to the Undecided

by James Stuart-James

This week I wished to take a break from my traditional article scheme on the blog and instead write a practical piece. This is an altered version of a letter I wrote to people in my local area which I posted through their letter boxes in order to state my case to remain in the EU, not as a Liberal Democrat but as a student whose future career may very well be dependent on the outcome of this referendum. If you know anybody who is undecided on the matter of the EU referendum, please show them this letter.

Dear Sir/Madam,

The majority of young people want the UK to REMAIN in the EU.  WHY?  It gives us the best opportunities for our future.

1.   We can all study, work and live in 28 EU countries – including retiring in the sun.
2.   We can travel to those countries without visas.
3.   University courses including a year abroad are part funded by the EU so we receive free tuition and £300/month towards living costs.  If we leave, we lose both.
4.   Universities rely heavily on EU funding and every university wants us to remain.
5.   Scientists and research institutions benefit greatly from EU funding.

Consider some of the many benefits we have gained from EU membership:

-          Workers’ rights + 1 May holiday
-          Maternity pay + Paternity  leave
-          Women’s and LGBT equality rights
-          Price restrictions on medications (unlike the USA)
-          Cheaper European flights

EU migrants bring net taxation benefits to our country of £20 billion i.e. we are financially better off with EU migrants working in our country.  Let us give them respect and thank them for choosing to live and work here.  The NHS relies on EU migrants to function.  They are not “scroungers” and Cameron’s new deal means they will not be able to claim state benefits for the first four years or stay without work. 

Only 7% of our laws come from Brussels and it makes sense to work with our European allies e.g. on international security, counter-terrorism and the environment.

Finally, please don’t listen to the lies:

1.   Turkey is a modern progressive nation but cannot join the EU for decades to come as it does not fulfil the requirements.  Plus Greece would likely veto their membership.  The LEAVE campaign are lying to you when they imply Turkey are about to join.
2.   Voting for Brexit will not remove Cameron as he intends to stay either way.
3.   EU membership does not cost £350 million every week or £19 billion a year.  This is a gross figure before rebates.  Our net cost is 0.3% of GDP (£5.7 billion) but we gain so much more in inward investment, jobs, farm subsidies, trade of goods and services.
Membership costs each adult 36p per day which I consider to be worth every penny.
There are nearly 12 million people under 15 in the UK and we need jobs and a strong economic future.  The EU gives us a trading market of 500+ million.  It’s not perfect but let’s reform it from within and not quit on what our forefathers died to achieve.

Kind regards from a worried 18 year old,

James Stuart-James

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