In celebration of Europe Day and to mark the common EU <3 UK action, what is the best reason for people residing in the UK to love the EU? (no limits on quirkiness)
By Chris Powers (International Officer)
Many British people hold the view that our country remains ‘Great’ somehow. Indeed, when it comes to Greatness we have a lot to be proud of and you need only watch the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics to feel a hint of pride in all that our family of nations has achieved. We held direct sway over more than a fifth of the world’s landmass and population, and indirectly controlled far more than that. The country was the first to undergo an industrial revolution which has eventually brought great improvement to standards of living. We brought peace to Europe in the two World Wars of the 20th century.
However, our ‘greatness’ did not end with the defeat of the Nazis. The most obvious contribution is the creation of the welfare state and establishment of the National Health Service. In the political sphere, one of Britain’s greatest historical figures, Winston Churchill, was influential in calling for a United States of Europe and being one of the founding fathers of the project of European integration. It was in large part the work of British legislators that brought into being the ECHR which serves to protect many of the human rights which we hold dear. We continue to be one of the world’s richest countries, and one of the world’s greatest actors when it comes to aid and development in poorer countries. The UK is certainly far from perfect but we have done a lot of good so far too.
The world of today though is one where the UK is quite quickly beginning to lose its influence. The prosperity of China, India, and the rest of the developing world is a great thing for humanity but it also means our meagre 60 million voices are being drowned out in the cacophony of billions. Through Europe we have worked to build the greatest single market, the most long-lasting peace our neck of the woods has ever had, and enshrined a greater number of rights and civil liberties than ever before. Working with the EU, we Brits can achieve so much more for things such as the environment, jobs, mobility, and living standards. We can work within our European family of nations to project our voice far louder than it would be working alone.
So why should people residing in the UK love the EU? Simple. It’s the surest way to keep our country ‘Great’. 🙂