Readers' letters - June 15
A choice of two Britains
The England fans abusing France with Brexit slogans shows the depths the EU Out campaign has stirred up with its continual anti-immigrant message.
Genuine concerns about jobs and services are exploited and mixed up with the global migration crisis and pressures on our under-resourced NHS.
Like any organisation, the EU isn’t perfect, but any problems with the free movement of labour can be addressed by safeguards on pay, conditions and benefit requirements. In fact, the EU has guaranteed us a range of employment rights. Most importantly, immigration brings real benefits: for example, 130,000 EU migrants work in the NHS – they contribute to the health of the nation, they pay taxes and buy goods. In return, millions of UK citizens work, study and retire in Europe.
Vote Leave is not in a position, moreover, to make any promises on the NHS – on June 24, we will still have a Tory Government and they will still be cutting services.
Voters need to think very carefully about what we are being asked to throw away in leaving the EU, like £1.4bn of investment in the North West, including Wigan Sports facilities, the Investment Centre, and life-saving medical research at places like Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The Out campaign can’t guarantee a penny of any future funding from “savings” – all they can do is bang the drum about immigration. They should try answering this question honestly: nearly half our export market is to Europe, with links to three million jobs. Do they really believe that we would be able to negotiate a BETTER deal than the one we have now having just left the EU? As for the rest of the world, as President Obama has observed, join the queue.
The EU has helped make Europe relatively safe and stable since the Second World War. The choice now is about the kind of Britain we want to see: a declining and diminished nation retreating into the past or a member of a European family with liberal and humane values, offering hope and a brighter future.
Pricing for our roads
In the biggest-ever online petition, nearly two million people voted against
Government plans for road pricing.
If the UK votes to stay in the EU, we can look forward to it being imposed through the back door.
The UK Government has enthusiastically backed EU proposals for ‘Energy Union’. Unfortunately, it has been less open about the small print, which goes well beyond energy measures. The European Commission intends to publish legislative proposals for road pricing and the ‘transformation of the entire
transport system’ just after our referendum.
In its under-publicised Transport White Paper, the Commission proposed a
Single European Transport Area, with compulsory charges on all vehicles on
Although we are sometimes assured that deciding vehicle charges is a national matter, that does not wash – the commission recently took legal action against the UK Government over its daily charge for foreign HGVs. The commission would prefer to have per mile/km charging, which would involve intrusively tracking and recording our journeys. It has warned we would pay more.
There is still time to discuss this important matter and raise it with our elected representatives. For more information, visit www. newalliance.org.uk/rp.
New Alliance campaign manager