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EU Membership Gives Young Brits Huge Opportunities

30/03/2014 21:06 BST | Updated 30/05/2014 10:59 BST

Those who want us to leave the EU don't have faith in our great country. Instead their vision of Britain is marred by a strange victim mentality where the EU does things to Britain rather than the UK negotiating and agreeing to things in Brussels. They would see us shuffle backwards with our heads down, off the world stage. Losing friends, allies and the ability to influence the increasingly unstable world around us.

The EU provides a platform for a confident, forward-looking Britain to take on the world. We should be striding forward into a world full of opportunity with our head held high.

It's clear from the growing body of evidence that EU membership gives Britain a boost in an increasingly globalised world.

Through the EU we were able to negotiate a deal on Iran's nuclear weapons, something we wouldn't have been able to do on our own.

Setting the rules for the European market has made and will make things cheaper for British families. Easyjet recently said that budget airlines wouldn't exist without a change in EU rules that Britain pushed for.

British manufacturers, the companies that we rely on to make things and then sell them abroad also say that EU membership is important for their future success. 85% of them agreed this was true.

Instead the Europhobes would willingly sacrifice this huge platform on the altar of their own blind ideology, with little regard for the damage it would do to our shared future, our economy and our communities.

One significant benefit of EU membership that is often overlooked is free movement of people, which forms an integral part of the way the single market works. If Britain withdrew its support for free movement of people we would see the quickest growing part of the EU (Poland's cumulative growth since the start of the crisis has been 16%) withdraw its support for the free movement of capital which has allowed British investors (and pension firms) profit from growth elsewhere in the EU.

Free movement gives people of all ages in the UK the opportunity to holiday and work abroad in other EU countries without having to get a visa or a work permit. An opportunity that's used by the 2.2 million Brits who live in the rest of the EU.

Young Brits can now go to Europe to study, to work in any industry they wish, and to travel. Visa free and with the guarantee of health coverage. Luxuries that were not afforded any previous generation of Brits. This may explain why young people, as a whole, are significantly more pro-EU membership than their older fellow voters.

Free movement also cuts the other way. The research labs that maintain the Britain's heritage as a global science centre, the technology companies that are making us a world leader in an exciting new economy and the banks which contribute so significantly to our economy all rely on getting top young talent from the rest of the EU and employing them in the UK (to pay taxes and create economic activity here). For example, one of the individuals who won the Nobel Prize in Manchester University in 2010 came to the UK on an EU research grant to take part in a pan-European programme.

If we left the EU banks and technology companies have explicitly said that they would leave Britain. In part, because they wouldn't be able to attract the talent they need to grow their businesses in Britain.

As Britain starts to debate our EU membership more robustly, we at British Influence will always have confidence in our country's ability to thrive in an ever-richer world. We just think that the EU gives us the best platform to make the most of these opportunities.

This blog is part of the Open Generation platform run by Migrants Rights Network. The platform aims to give a voice to under 30s on the issues of immigration and EU free movement. Find out more here: www.opengeneration.org.uk or follow us @opengeneration