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Those Realistic About the UK and the EU Need to Stand Up and Be Counted

Posted: 03/10/2012 06:24

A few years ago on New Year's Eve, a French comedy show filmed a video of a small French village that went on strike over the changing of the year. To protest against time, they rampaged through the village smashing clocks and ripping out calendars. Nothing could be a better analogy for the increasingly vocal body of Europhobes in the UK and their struggle against the forces of globalisation.

Globalisation has been around for centuries but has exponentially accelerated in the past few decades. Its impacts are all around us and all provoke the same reaction from groups like UKIP: that we should simply ignore it is happening.

For example, climate change and resource scarcity are set to impose a huge price on economies and destabilise political systems around the world. The UK alone cannot reduce the risk of climate change or mitigate its damage. We certainly can't do it by building more fossil fuel plants and abandoning renewables (as UKIP proposes). We need the clout of the European Union in climate negotiations now, but need it even more in protecting our position in the unpredictable and unstable future.

Globalisation is real and it's unstoppable. To ensure Britain benefits from it we must be confident enough to rise to the challenges it poses, and recognise that we can't do this alone.

We must have the confidence to acknowledge that there are certain areas of policy that cannot be successfully done at a national level any more - energy policy, parts of economic policy, security, defence, trade negotiations, copyright law, pollution control and environmental protection - the list goes on.

For these areas Britain needs to work through organisations like the European Union to make sure its interests are protected. We cannot adequately protect our borders from organised crime, the consequences of climate change, or the brutal movements of international capital if we choose to ignore our closest allies like France and Germany.

Over the next few years a storm that has long been brewing in British politics will make landfall: the possibility of treaty change may trigger a British referendum on EU membership.

People who are realistic about Britain's position in the twenty first century need to make their voices heard now, so that we can win the argument that Britain's membership of the EU is valuable for the UK's prosperity and security. As Sharon Bowles MEP, the chair of the economic affairs committee in the European Parliament said, Britain is sleep walking into a terrible, isolated position. We need to restore confidence in Britain's ability to project influence through projects like the EU.

Nucleus is a campaign that has been set up to do just that. On a daily basis we're debunking the myths and misrepresentations Europhobes thrive on. More importantly, we're a hub for Brits who are realistic about Britain's place in the world and who believe that British leadership in Europe is a good thing.

We need to remind Brits that our membership of the EU is valuable and that to turn our back on our closest neighbours and the world would make us weaker and poorer. That task starts now.

 

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