With EU, let’s get bigger, not smaller

The EU is often accused of being a failure. This is yet another Leave Lie.

It has in fact been an astonishing project of democratic, social and economic success. Southern Europe, once extremely poor and under fascist dictatorship, grew prosperous and developed democracy, maintaining both to levels unthinkable just a generation ago even when the Great Recession hit. Socially, the EU shares vast intelligence, research and knowledge to develop the world’s best welfare systems, health services and public transport – every single country in Western Europe has a life expectancy higher than the United States. Economically, the EU remains unquestionably at the leading edge of fashion, creative industries, vehicle manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and has moved ahead in areas such as media and financial services, meaning that income per capita has risen in the EU faster than anywhere else in the industrialised world since it was founded (and the UK’s has grown faster than any other G7 member since it joined). Even right now, the EU is bringing down barriers in communications (such as with roaming charges), leading the world in environmental protection, and successfully cooperating in intelligence and security to protect its Eastern frontier.

“Ah but…” ah but the citizens of every single other EU member state wish both that their own country and the UK remain inside. That includes Greece. Instead of trying to foist national problems on a multinational Union, let us reflect on the successes of that multinational Union as the world’s largest industrialised democracy, the world’s largest economic bloc, and the world’s largest single employment zone.

Put another way, if all that democratic, economic and social achievement means the EU has “failed”, I will certainly want to be part of it when it “succeeds”!

And we in Northern Ireland should recognise more than anyone the value of democracy and the rule of law, the value of financial union, and the value of security cooperation. Why on earth would we want to make ourselves even smaller when we have an opportunity to be so much bigger?

Think successful. Think big. Vote REMAIN.

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