Why I Feel Derby Should Vote to Stay in the European Union

June 21, 2016 12:29 PM
By Joan Travis

Having spent a year in France as part of my Degree, and later in life arranged links and exchanges for educational and cultural groups for a Local Authority, it is not surprising that I should be outward-looking. I have benefitted so much from being able to work with and make friends of other Europeans. I feel very lucky to have been able to make friends with so many people from other countries, and to have received them in my own home. Many of these contacts came from European Union programmes designed to link up different areas of Europe; if the UK chooses to leave the European Union, we will lose these initiatives. These links and benefits could perhaps be re-negotiated, if our former partners were willing, but could we blame them if they weren't after we'd rejected them?

I feel that, if the media is representing the British people as they really are, then we have become selfish and greedy, wanting all the advantages of a strong economy, full employment and opportunities for our own nationals, and to hell with everyone else. If that really is so, then the Great has gone out of Britain. What is more, people with that attitude would probably not fight for decent living conditions for all, equality of opportunity, measures to prevent climate change nor anything for the good of the community in general. I sincerely hope that this image of a selfish, greedy people is not true.

I do believe that some things are best served by working together. Tackling crime that doesn't recognise boundaries, cleansing our air of pollution, tackling climate change, respecting animal welfare and protecting against international terrorism are all helped by working within the EU rather than trying to do them alone.

The EU - like any organisation - needs reform and a spring clean. That takes effort, but we should roll up our sleeves and help with the job from within the union, not carp from the outside.