Letter: EU reform would be a positive step forward

On June 23 every one of us will have an equal vote in the EU referendum, and an equal chance to have a say in the future of our country.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th March 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2016, 9:06 am
EU reform is a positive step forward.
EU reform is a positive step forward.

We know that the EU isn’t perfect, nor is Westminster. We want it to be more democratic, and accountable to the citizens of Europe. But to make the EU better for every European we need to stay in and reform it.

We do already benefit a lot from the EU. We have peace in Europe, and the freedom to live, study, work and retire across an entire continent. Thousands of jobs have been created, workers’ interests protected, and there is enhanced co-operation in policing and security.

It’s only by working with our European neighbours that we can tackle climate change, protect wildlife and reduce pollution. It’s thanks to EU rules that our water companies have been forced to invest in better waste water treatment so the beaches are cleaner for both residents and visitors.

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Funding from the EU has helped our borough in many ways, including money channelled through Yorkshire Forward to make huge improvements to the Rotunda museum, the Spa and the harbour area; environmental stewardship money helping farmers to preserve peat and wetland bird habitats on the Carrs; and further in the past, the Castle Pride Initiative was supported by the Single Regeneration Budget using EU funding.

A better EU is possible: where corporate influence is curtailed, where more power is held locally, and citizens have a real say. Greens are determined to build that EU, but we can only do that by staying part of it. We do not want to be in the Euro or have ‘ever closer union’, but we do want Britain to remain a part of the EU, because we believe that we flourish when we work together on the shared challenges we face.

Cllr Dilys Cluer,

Green Party,

Alexandra Park