By Kate Harris a member of one of the SY2E – Remain in the EU groups.
Working full time, I managed to get some time in France as a mature ERASMUS student.
This introduced me to a different way of thinking in France, where fresh food is genuinely a priority, where you can have a serious argument with the Mayor or postman without ‘class’ ever coming into it – the argument is won or lost on logic, and where all the children I met have access to libraries, books and a musical instrument of their choice to try.
I was also able to have a serious varicose vein expertly treated in France for a quarter of the price of the operation in the UK, having previously been told that this treatment was no longer available on the NHS (I had already paid £150 for an appointment with a UK consultant). As my job involves standing up for long periods, this has meant I have been able to continue to work.
I have been very lucky. There have been times in my early life when I could never have envisaged this level of care, opportunity or education.
As for you and the EU, I accept that many people in the UK are absolutely opposed to membership. All you see and hear is about the money you pay out and how little we get back, how our borders are uncontrolled and how life here has deteriorated since we joined the EU.
To you I would say that it’s easy to blame something ‘over there’, it removes the responsibility from us here in the UK. Sorry to sound harsh, but democracy is the hardest form of government.
We all have to pay for things we don’t benefit from. For example, I have no children but some of my taxes go towards education. I pay (and have paid) for some of my medical (and all of my dental) treatment, despite having paid tax and NI contributions for over 40 years. Read the Lisbon Treaty, lobby your MEP, write to Mr Juncker. Your vote, either way, counts. Make it real.