This week I wanted to share with you, here, what are the best, most important things the European Union offers the UK: Peace, Security, Carbon Targets, Erasmus+, Horizon Europe, Data Roaming, Regional Development, Agricultural Guarantee Fund, Sustainable Fishing, EU Solidarity Fund for Natural Disasters, Tariff Free Trade with 27 countries, Jobs, Cross-border Trade, Jobs, a site for EU HQs from other countries and Jobs, Jobs, JOBS! I could go on…
But, In a little more detail, here is my selection of the UK’s top four benefits from being part of the EU:
- Peace and Security: The European Union is defined by the peace and stability that it seeks to generate and which it has succeeded in creating. The Union even won the 2012 Nobel Peace prize. I point to the very useful image, below, from the EU website showing the difference it makes in Europe when we work together and collaborate towards peace:
Day to day, as part of the EU the UK participates in around 40 EU legal measures that support and enhance security, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The European Arrest Warrant, for one, is hugely effective. In 2017 alone 6317 EAWs were enacted to the benefit of the UK. Suspected criminals were tracked with ease and cooperation between members of the EU, EAW area. Intel and manpower moved smoothly cross-border with assistance from Europol. This kind of cooperation is precious. It increases the detection of crimes and likelihood of people being unable to evade custody by moving into another country and our police service operating efficiently and effectively. Altogether, the EU helps keep us safe at home.
2) Education and Erasmus+ scheme: Nothing the EU does affects our national curriculum, because education in schools is a national responsibility. The EU does, however, offer many fantastic opportunities for young people to work and study abroad. If you read my MEPLife column regularly, you will already know about some of these fantastic opportunities already – like the new Apprenticeship scheme. If you don’t, you can read more about Erasmus+ and Apprenticeships in Europe here, here at erasmus’ webpage and in my newsletter.
3) The Climate Emergency: Us MEPs are currently working across parliament to formulate new climate targets, carbon emissions targets, and debating passionately whether we can tighten the ambition for carbon neutrality from 2050 to 2045 or even 2040. Climate does not stop at the border. When the EU legislates something like this member states have to fall in line and this is good. It is powerful. And it matters. Europe leads the way in this area and if our 28 sovereign nations can work together to move away from carbon generating fuels other countries will listen and we will also continue to impact the world in a powerfully positive direction.
4) And I must include trade and jobs. The U.K. occupies a privileged position in the world, as one of only 2 English language countries who are part of Europe. This is where global companies have historically liked to have their European headquarters, companies like … Sony, Panasonic, Jaguar Land Rover, Muji, Nomura, Nissan, Lloyds of London, Ford Europe, Barclays, HSBC, JP MORGAN, P&O, UBS, AXA, Moneygram, Toyota and last but not least, The Body Shop. I wonder if you can guess what the companies on that list have in common now?