30 WAYS EU'VE BENEFITED; It Pays to Be in United Europe

By Penman, Andrew | The Mirror (London, England), May 29, 1996 | Go to article overview

30 WAYS EU'VE BENEFITED; It Pays to Be in United Europe


Penman, Andrew, The Mirror (London, England)


Yesterday the Mirror launched its campaign to show how disastrous it would be for Britain to pull out of Europe. In the 24 years since we joined, our people have gained many things. These are some of them:

1 Thanks to membership of the EU, British citizens can live, work and retire in any member state.

2 European aid has attracted massive investment into Britain. Big firms that have come here include Nissan, which brought 4,000 jobs to the North East, Taiwan TV components firm Chungwha, which created 3,300 jobs in Scotland, and Honda, so creating 2,000 jobs in the South West.

3 The single European market has opened up trading areas previously closed to us. British firms are selling road-safety equipment to Germany, insurance to Spain and even a bookbinding service to the French National Library.

4 The European Court has struck down bans on British exports, boosting our trade. The court over-ruled a Greek ban on British lemonade, a Spanish ban on our chewing gum and a French ban on British ski instructors.

5 The European social fund has poured money into Britain to help the young and long-term unemployed retrain in industries with labour shortages. In 1994 we received pounds 600 million from the fund.

6 Under Euro rules, qualifications gained in Britain are recognised by our continental partners. To help job movers, the European Commission has set up a Europe-wide employment agency.

7 You can go on holiday to any EU country without a visa and there are new fast-track blue customs channels for Euro citizens.

8 You are guaranteed emergency medical treatment if you fall ill during a holiday on the continent.

9 If you travel to a country where there is no British embassy, you have the right to protection at the embassy of any other EU state.

10 British students can study in Europe. Around 15,000 will do so this year.

11 Britain is cleaner thanks to EU laws. Air and water pollution, acid rain and the quality of beaches are controlled by Euro standards. The EU has passed 200 environmental laws.

12 Consumers are protected by EU laws on everything from mouldy fruit to unsafe toys and electrical goods.

13 EU standards set limits for safe levels of additives in food and nitrates in drinking water.

14 Retired Shropshire mechanic Stanley Atkins, 63 this month used the European Court of Justice to win a major victory for equal rights. Mr Atkins proved that his local council was wrong to refuse him a bus pass until he reached 65, since women got them at 60.

15 Other European Court triumphs for Britain include equal pay for women and equal free prescriptions rights for retired men and women. Previously women got them at 60, men having to wait to 65.

16 Pushy door-to-door salesman could once land you with products you didn't want. …

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