Should we stay in the EU?
It has once again become an issue of great debate. The Tories being threatened by the popularity of the UKIP into re-thinking the UK’s position in Europe and being malicious in their thoughts about the European Union as whole. As a result, the British public are becoming increasingly anti EU in their attitude, which is being reflected onto the Parliament and has had the effect of the members of the Backbench Business Committee agreeing to hold a debate on the issue of calling a referendum by May 2013. Additionally, only today the President of the US, Barack Obama, openly stated that the ‘special UK-US relationship would be devalued’ if the UK was to leave the European Union. This was then further supported by Gunther Krichbaum, a member of the German Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party said that ‘Losing the single market for the UK would be an economic disaster’. It is, therefore, clear that the UK leaving the European Union would end in economic, political and social calamity. Rise in nationalism that lead to Europe self-destructing during the last Century that saw the two World Wars with loss of millions of human lives.
Nigel Farage – or should we say the antagonistic of the EU – began his debut when he accused the newly appointed European President Herman Van Rompuy of having the "charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low grade bank clerk". Farages’ insults resulted in him having to pay a fine of £2,700 after refusing to apologise too Van Rompuy. Nevertheless, the world saw for the first time of whom and what the EU involved and almost immediately all believed Farage. However, I think, it is disappointing that so many people agreed with Mr Farage just because his speech was aggressive and manipulating. I do not believe we should leave the EU on the basis of the other European countries’ economies being currently not so stable. People fail to realise that since we are part of the European Union it therefore makes us part of the world’s largest single market. This is also enables us to avoid separate 27 different set of regulations and as a result the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills evaluate that all the EU states trade doubled as a result of a single market. It could be argued however that with encapsulating the total cost of being a member state of the EU the UK loses a substantial £6.4 billion due to an annual member state fee. Even so, we benefit from the EU in so many more ways. These include through education, health, personal desires and social benefits. Over 8,000 students study in Universities across the EU per year as well as over double that amount coming here to the UK to study. More importantly, being part of the EU allows us to travel generously without a Visa to any other European state which would not be the case if we isolated ourselves from it. Moreover, it also enables us to have free health care when visiting a country which shows just how vital being in the EU is.
I therefore think that it is ridiculous to think that we should leave the EU just on the basis of an MEP delivering an insulting speech addressed to the European President stating that we receive no benefits by being a Member state. I am also curious to hear what David Cameron has to say in the coming weeks about the UK’s position towards the EU and whether or not see if the Tories truly are as weak as they seem and hopefully they do not just make it an issue to gain support for the next General Election as they feel so threatened by UKIP’s electoral popularity.
How many more years will we continue being a European Member State?