By Kate Fistric a member of one of the SY2E – Remain in the EU groups
There’s a perception among many Britons that the EU ‘doesn’t affect me’. That, at best, the EU is some faceless machine run by pen-pushing petty bureaucrats and, at worst, is a monster sneaking into our homes at night to steal our 1600 watt vacuum cleaners. But the reality is that the EU does affect us and has enabled us to live safe, comfortable lives for over six decades.
The EU has been responsible for the longest ever period of peace in Europe, but it has also implemented specific legislation that improves our daily lives. Britons can expect to be treated equally in the workplace regardless of their gender or race and not be forced to work excessive hours without adequate rest, thanks to EU legislation. Meanwhile, British children are protected from toxic substances in their toys and can enjoy cultural exchanges with partner schools in other EU countries or, later, study abroad. Families can enjoy affordable European holidays, swim on clean beaches and receive free healthcare in the event of illness abroad. And we can all breathe cleaner air and be confident that hazardous waste hasn’t been dumped into our rivers.
It’s unclear what will happen in the event of Brexit. Much EU legislation is already enshrined in UK law and will remain in place, unless repealed. But Britain needs to stay in the EU because to leave would be to risk our ongoing prosperity and security. The world will not remain frozen in time on 23rd June and future social and environmental challenges are better faced as part of a broad union. It would be a terrible realisation to wake up on the morning of 24th and only then to discover just how affected by the EU we really are.