My View, Ed Miliband: Why I believe we need to stay in the EU
People in Doncaster have a big decision to make on June 23 when they have the chance to take part in the European referendum.
I am urging people in the borough to vote for Britain to Remain.
I believe staying is better for jobs, better for workers’ rights and better for our nation’s security.
In Doncaster, there are many people whose jobs depend on their companies being able to export to other countries in the European Union.
As an EU member, we’re part of a market with 500 million people who can buy our goods.
Those who want us to leave the EU are now saying we would be better outside that single market – threatening jobs and livelihoods.
For the future, the UK is stronger negotiating trade deals with countries like the USA as part of the EU group of 28 nations than we would be on our own.
We already have American President Obama’s word that outside the EU, he believes Britain would be at the back of the queue when it comes to a trade deal with America.
Of course, people have worries about immigration to the UK from other EU countries.
But the right way to tackle these issues is by tackling the undercutting of wages, and by ensuring that any benefits for people who come to this country are earned.
We can do this in the European Union.
That’s the right answer, not cutting ourselves off from the economic benefits of EU membership.
Remaining in the EU is also better for rights at work.
All of the following rights come with our membership of the EU:
n Four weeks’ paid holiday
n Rights for part-time and agency workers
n Improved health and safety protection
n Rights to unpaid parental leave
n Time off work for urgent family reasons
These rights can’t be taken for granted.
There are no guarantees that future governments will keep them if the UK leaves the European Union.
Finally, I believe the EU is better for our security.
The challenges Britain faces today affect other countries too – climate change, terrorism, cross-border crime.
We are better off working with our neighbours to solve these problems, not trying to tackle them on our own. We have more influence in the world in the EU, not outside.
The European Union is not perfect.
But I believe if we left, it would damage the interests of people in Doncaster and weaken our influence in the world.
That is why I will be voting for us to remain in the EU on June 23.