Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton is urging residents to vote stay in the EU, claiming that will protect local jobs and pointing out how much EU money has been invested in the borough.
The decision on UK membership of the EU will determine how we are seen in the world, how we see ourselves, and how we interact with our closest neighbours and allies.
In Yorkshire more than 250,000 jobs and 47% of all goods exported from the region, worth £7.8bn, and 66.8% of manufacturing jobs are linked to trade with the EU.
Numerous projects and infrastructure developments across Doncaster have benefited from EU funding, including the Civic and Cultural Quarter (£2.4m) and Fountain Court at Finningley (£2.48m.) I celebrated St Georges Day at Armthorpe Community Centre, built with EU funding.
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Through our membership we are secure in trade deals with the majority of Commonwealth countries like India, New Zealand and Australia and other leading nations like China, the USA and Japan. If we vote to leave we would have to negotiate with them all over again.
And that would involve Britain either signing back up to much of what it has just opted out of, including free movement of people, but with no say over any of the rules. It is inconceivable that we could secure from Germany and France a better deal outside than negotiating as partners in the EU.
A majority of business members of the British Chamber of Commerce favour staying in. Gavin Patterson, CEO at BT, who employ around 1,500 people in Doncaster, said “As a country we deserve a place at the top table when important decisions are made. Those decisions affect British Jobs whether we’re in the negotiations or not, so it’s far better to be present.”
As for “red tape” – most EU legislation cuts red tape, replacing 28 divergent sets of national rules with a single set of common rules, saving duplication and compliance costs. And what many people call regulation is actually about protection for working people.
EU regulation has improved our environment and provided protection for working people and consumers. For example, legislation on mobile roaming charges means lower phone bills for British holidaymakers.
In addition, EU legislation has given British workers rights to minimum paid holiday leave, rights for agency workers, paid maternity and paternity leave, equal pay, anti-discrimination laws, and protection for the workforce when companies change ownership, a point the trade unions are emphasising to their members.
Around 1.2 million British people take advantage of free movement to work and live in other European countries. It is a myth to say leaving would solve all immigration issues. Desperate people will still seek sanctuary here. The refugee crisis shows the importance of European Nations working together to resolve global problems and maintain peace. NATO will protect Europe in the event of war, it is the EU that stops us from getting to that point. Our voice and identity gives strength to the EU. Working together can achieve far more than we ever could alone.
For the sake of our young people we can’t afford to turn the clock back and that’s why I’ll be voting to remain in the European Union.