24 Sep 2013

What has the European Union ever done for us?

Below is a letter by Sid Phelps of the Forest of Dean Green party, which is such a splendid mix of wit and wisdom that I felt it needed sharing here.



Last week’s letter from the UK Independence Party reminded me of Monty Python’s Life of Brian sketch where Reg the Briton asks the prosaic question: What have the Romans ever done for us?

Well, what has EU membership ever done for us? Well if you discount peace between member states for the last fifty years then there’s legislation that protects our environment; landfill, wildlife, habitats, water-quality, air quality, reduction of climate change gases  etc; and there’s workers’ rights - ensuring paid holidays, health & Safety protection at work, equal treatment for part-time workers & women and protection when businesses are sold.

But don’t listen to the Greens or the Left. Even in a recent CBI survey, 8 out of 10 firms believe we have a better future within Europe than out of it.*

Admittedly, not everything about the EU is perfect – bureaucracy, inefficiency and accountability being major problems; but as we go into the campaign for the European elections next May, let’s think about whether or not we are, like Reg the Briton – glossing over the major achievements over the last 40 years of the EU just because a minority of us simply don’t like Europe.



If you want to see those positive aspects of the EU supported, Molly Scott Cato is the local Green candidate for European election in 2014.

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