This June 23rd, a referendum will be held on whether the UK remains in the EU.
The Green Party wants Britain to remain a part of the EU because we believe that we flourish when we work together on the shared challenges we face.
In a fast-changing world we need international rules to control big business, and to ensure that people’s rights are protected - at work and as consumers. The EU has also given us the freedom to live, study, work and retire across an entire continent.
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. Let’s not leave the argument to white men in grey suits shouting at each other.
What has the EU done for the South East?
- The EU delivers more than £40m in funding to the South East, every year.
- The money goes to finance many important projects, such as this air quality monitoring station in Brighton, where researchers are investigating ultra-fine air pollutants in order to understand how we can better clean up our air. And it's issues like air pollution, along with climate change, the health of our seas, and animal welfare concerns, that have no respect for national borders and require collaborative solutions.
- It's not just air pollution: the EU has delivered significant funding for apprenticeships across the South East and created hundreds of jobs. The funds have also allowed thousands of small and medium -sized businesses to make energy efficiency savings which have helped reduce CO2 emissions in the South East by nearly 50,000 tonnes.
- We also have the EU to thank for having a hand in creating 80% of the UK's nature laws. Laws that protect the natural beauty spots we cherish in the South East, from the South Downs National Park to the RSPB reserve in Dungeness. Take, for example, the Birds and Habitats directives: the work these laws have done for UK wildlife conservation so often goes unheralded. Before EU action, protected wildlife sites were being lost at a rate or 15% a year, now the rate is just 1% a year. In the South East, the Bittern population has increased seven-fold, thanks to the habitat protections delivered by the Wild Birds and Habitats directives.
How can we improve the EU?
The Greens are pressing for reform of the EU. We can only do that if we stay IN. See our handy Green leaflet for more info on how we can make the EU work better for everyone.
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.