Why Britain is Stronger in Europe

In just a few weeks’ time, this nation will face one of the biggest decisions of the post-war period. It is a decision that will shape our shared destiny.

No corner of the UK, from the coasts of Cornwall to the Isle of Skye will be unaffected.

No family will be untouched by the decision.

Every citizen – whether they vote or not – will feel the impact.

It's sometimes too easy in politics to get caught up in the moment. We can all be guilty of focusing on personalities to the exclusion of the big ideas that really matter. Or obsessing over the details of policies when we should be looking at the bigger picture.

In a year when the doctors are striking, the Government is forcing schools to become academies and the Tories are selling the British steel industry short, there are lots of good reasons to concentrate on the day to day battle with our political opponents.

But the decision in June will have ramifications for generations to come.

The EU referendum represents a fork in the road, and taking the wrong turning could fundamentally damage our country. We are taking a decision in June that has huge ramifications for ourselves and our children.

The question on the ballot is whether to leave or remain.
But the real question is what kind of country do we want to be?

Do we want to be outward-facing or inward looking? Do we want to shape our further within the world's largest trading block, or takes our chances alone in the world? Do we want to keep the protections and safeguards the EU guarantees to workers and consumers alike? Or risk losing them?

A Labour Party that has always been committed to internationalism and which stands up for Labour values that transcend borders, should campaign to Remain.

The EU has created a ‘social Europe’, with real protection for working people.

I've listed them many times before.

They include a minimum of four weeks paid holiday, plus public holidays. The right to equal pay for women is underpinned by EU law. Sex discrimination at work where EU law also underpins UK law. Rights to maternity and parental leave. Equal treatment for part time workers. No discrimination against fixed-term workers. Equal treatment for agency workers after 6 months.

An individual right to limit the working week to a maximum of 48 hours. Protection for workers facing outsourcing, privatisation, and changes of employer.
Comprehensive protection on health and safety in the workplace.

It’s not just about guarantees and safety at work.

It’s about the broader economy.

I am in no doubt that our membership of the EU has had a positive benefit for British trade, British jobs, and British business.

Does anyone really believe that now is the right time for Britain to go it alone? The argument shouldn’t be about fear, although I am fearful of the future if Britain deserts Europe.

No, the argument should be about opportunity. It should be about hope.

We should celebrate the opportunity of being part of a continent-wide bloc of nations.

The point of us being part of the EU is to protect British jobs and industries. To be able to stand up to the Chinese. To punch above our weight.

On 23rd June, two versions of the future are on offer. The fork in the road leads to two radically differing destinations.

We can be a distant Atlantic archipelago off the coast of Continental Europe, strong on heritage, but weak on wages, skills, investment, and entrepreneurship. A shadow of our former selves.

Or we can face the future with confidence, with alacrity, with a spring in our steps. We can continue to be part of a strong Europe, with a seat at the table.

But It isn't politicians who will decide, it's you.

You can find lots of information that will help you make your decision by following the links below.