Here I have attempted to collect sources that make the arguments for remaining in the European Union – something I feel strongly about. I’m no expert – so if you find something here you think is wrong, please leave me a comment and I’ll look into it.
First of all, MEP Richard Corbett has a great website that comments on the latest twists and turns of the Referendum Campaign. Highly Recommended. His website is here.
One of Richard’s best initiatives is “Mythbusters” which calmly debunks all the scary stuff that the ‘Leave’ campaigners keep trotting out.
Another really good source for eliminating fuckwittage in the EU argument is Full Fact. This charity is independent, so if you don’t like my reliance on Labour Party sources, Full Fact is the place for you.
And here is Martin Wolf of the Financial Times – not known for it’s socialist principles – neatly rebutting the ten ‘leave’ arguments put forward by Brexiters.
My other favourite MEP is the North East’s Jude Kirton-Darling, a Quaker and a former Trade Union advisor to the steel industry. She is involved in trade negotiations, particularly TTIP. First of all – Free Trade is a Good Thing! It tends to boost the economies of the parties involved. Free trade with the USA will gain our exporters new markets and make sure our own industries stay on their toes as they will have to compete with US imports. There are three things, however, that need to be amended in TTIP, and MEPs on the left are making sure that happens. The take home message is that the provisions of TTIP are still being negotiated. Nothing is final.
- ISDS – the provision about corporations suing governments in private tribunals. That needs to go.
- Public services like the NHS need to be excluded. This is being confirmed.
- Regulatory Co-operation – the idea that the USA and Europe will continue to try to harmonise regulations seems ok on the face of it, but MEPs are clear that where standards differ, they want the higher standard adopted. For example, the US allows artificial hormones to be injected into beef cattle. The EU does not. Where beef is sold between the two countries, the higher standard must prevail. That’s what I think it means. I haven’t got a really good source on this yet but I’ve heard Jude K-D speak on the subject.
And for those of you who’ve heard that the problem with TTIP is that it is being negotiated in secret, no it’s not. It even has its own web page.
STOP PRESS: This is a new state of TTIP document.
Some Brexiters ask why we can’t leave the EU but negotiate a trade deal like those agreed with Norway, Canada, Switzerland, or Turkey. Here’s a government publication which is surprisingly readable on alternatives to EU Membership. Crucially, countries that want the benefit of access to the single market have to pay to do that, and abide by its rules – but don’t take my word for it, have a read, it’s good.
And finally, there are those on the far left who want to be out of the EU because it is a neo-liberal conspiracy against the free people of Europe. Well, just for them, there’s an argument that we need to stay in the EU and reform it from the inside. That will depend on who our heads of state are and their ministers. We can vote for them in national elections. We also vote for our MEPs, and if we vote Labour, we will elect those keenest on reform. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis, whose country was soundly pistol-whipped by the European Central Bank, still thinks Britain should stay in. Here he is speaking to uber-leftie Owen Jones about that.