On June 23rd the British people have the choice on whether to stay in the European Union. Andrew has been a supporter of a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, and he is backing the Labour IN campaign to support Britain’s continued membership.
Andrew says: “I voted for a referendum on the European Union in 2011, and I think it’s right that the people have a say on such an important issue for our country’s future.
The EU is not perfect, but history shows how important it is to maintain peace, co-operation and friendship in Europe. If we were to leave, there would not only be economic uncertainty, but if we wanted to keep the benefits of the single market we would end up accepting EU regulations with no say in how they are made. We would lose our excellent local MEP Anneliese Dodds as our elected voice in Europe, along with the important work she has done for international co-operation to make big, multinational companies pay their fair share of taxes in the way that small businesses have to.
In Oxford, thousands of jobs depend on trade with Europe. The success of the BMW plant in Cowley shows how important the single market is; but in such a market you need common action for workers’ rights such as minimum paid leave, paid maternity and paternity leave, equal pay, anti-discrimination laws, and protection for the workforce when companies change ownership.
You also need joint action to safeguard the environment. Pollution does not respect national frontiers. Furthermore, Oxfordshire also benefits massively from EU support for scientific research in which we are a world leader. Oxford University alone received over £60 million in EU grants in 2014/15.
In a heated campaign like this, a lot of overblown claims get made. People I have talked with on the doorstep want accurate information on things like the importance of EU membership for jobs, workers’ rights, and our quality of life, so they can make a careful and considered judgement. I believe that is what they will do. I also think people realise just how important it is that they use their vote for their own and Oxford’s future, where it is clear we achieve more working together, enjoying the strengths and diversity of the European Union, than we would standing alone. That is at the heart of Labour’s case for a vote to remain."