Thursday, 31 January 2013

Lib dem Councillor Juby on EU referendum

Cllr Juby's column for the Medway Messenger:

I find it slightly worrying that so much energy and time is being spent on debating the pros and cons of a referendum on Europe.  Most people have definite views on whether we should stay in or come out, but I am getting vibes that the public would rather like to know sooner rather than later. Perhaps not only the public – if I were a foreign investor with a few billions to spare I might be thinking twice about putting my cash into Great Britain, given the fact that half our foreign markets may disappear by the time factories and built and are profitable. 

A few things have really benefitted working people here, the main one being the introduction of the minimum wage.  Also we have a couple of million British nationals who live in Europe, many of them with jobs – not to mention that the cheapest holidays to the sun, all involve travel within the European union (don’t forget that the Canary Islands, Majorca etc. all come in this category). Many Britons enjoy the ski slopes as well, and  we do not know how the rest of Europe will react to us pulling the plug - we may all end up holidaying in the rain here!

 Most of our problems seem to stem from popular objection to the  immigration from Europe, especially at a time when we are desperately short of jobs and houses.  A lot of European countries seem able cherry pick which dictats they choose to obey but it always looks as if we fall over backwards in order to meet the letter of European law!  Perhaps I am wrong in this, but public perceptions are a very powerful force and I am glad that Nick Clegg, for once, has spoken out on this issue.

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