Is this the EU we want?

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Alison Teal believes freedom of movement should be celebrated and that it is overwhelmingly positive.

Of itself, freedom of movement should be exactly that but common sense dictates control or richer countries will be awash and the poor abandoned.

Alison goes on to say it enables students to study and work across Europe and Brits to seek employment in 27 other countries.

That may be so but there is another world out there in which many communities are suffering the backlash of EU policies.

Hence violent clashes across Europe among people of different race and beliefs.

Workers from the EU may make an important net contribution to our economy and be less likely to claim benefits or use the NHS and other public services but what about the numbers arriving without jobs who rely on benefits and services to survive?

A 2015 report found that for every 14,880 Poles living on Jobseeker’s Allowance in the UK, two Britons claim the equivalent in Poland.

That for more than 30,000 people from Slovakia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Romania claiming unemployment benefit in the UK, fewer than 30 Britons claim equivalent benefits in those countries.

Alison claims the Greens are grateful to those leaving their homes to come and work as doctors, nurses, builders etc and many would agree but have we become such a backward nation that we can no longer educate our own to such standards, instead leaving them prey to a market place full of unskilled migrants often willing to work at reduced rates?

Alison’s presumption that those wanting to leave the EU are xenophobic suggests a lack of understanding that people living under different circumstances to her own will not see the world through her eyes. Maybe she is towing the Party line, along with some unions and ex-New Labour MPs etc who, despite acknowledging the EU is in dire need of change, believe they can do it from within.

Past events suggest it is not that easy? Despite long efforts, the GMB union admits workers’ rights are being eroded and that David Cameron has been ‘poncing around Europe seeking agreement to further cut the rights of working people in Britain’.

As the CBI is backing his bid to stay in the EU he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Yet, if change is impossible, is this the kind of EU we want to leave for future generations?

It is readily acknowledged that the EU is the province of the elite and powerful but should we be wary of its ultimate goal described as follows by its founder, Jean Monnet, who charted its course from its inception to his retirement in 1975?

“Europe’s power is easy to miss. It operates through the shell of traditional political structures.

“The British House of Commons, British Law Courts.

“British civil servants are here but they have become agents of the European Union, implementing European laws.

“By creating common standards implemented through national institutions, Europe can take over countries without necessarily creating hostility.”

Mary Steele

Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, Sheffield