An Argument to Remain – at last?
Today a non-hysterical argument was finally made for remaining in the EU.
It stands in interesting contrast to the “Vote Leave to get a Drier Conservative Government” argument that we are increasingly seen put forward by the Quitters. (Dry? Think Thatcher and Wets vs Drys) Imagine Gove, Grayling, Patel, (Boris) Johnson, and the likes of Rees-Mogg, Bone, and Farage forming a “caring conservative” government with more cuts in taxes (particularly for the richer who are meant to pay taxes but funded by doctrinaire cuts in services) and a bonfire of regulations that protect us.
This is a “Hansarded” version of the actual speech which unfortunately was a “bit too comprehensive”.
We have a distinct agenda — a vision to make Britain better and fairer for everyone, by engaging with our neighbours in Europe.
Through the social chapter and other directives, Europe has delivered us:
- Over 26 million workers in Britain benefit from being entitled to 28 days of paid leave and a limit to how many hours they can be forced to work;
- Over eight million part-time workers (over six million of whom are women) have equal rights with full-time colleagues;
- Over one million temporary workers have the same rights as permanent workers;
- 340,000 women every year have guaranteed rights to take maternity leave.
We can’t rely on the Tory Government to defend workplace rights. Leave supporters have stated they want to water down workers’ rights and rip up protections against discrimination, exploitation and injustice.
We are overwhelmingly for remain, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment.
But also because our membership offers a crucial route to meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century, on climate change, on restraining the power of global corporations and ensuring they pay fair taxes, on tackling cyber-crime and terrorism, on ensuring trade is fair with protections for workers and consumers and in addressing refugee movements.
Britain will be stronger if we co-operate with our neighbours in facing those challenges together.
The problem is; does this argument get devalued if we know who made it? Certainly we can expect the media to rubbish it. But that probably says more about the media (and its owners) than it does about the person who made this speech.