Why South Holland and the Deepings Labour are voting to stay in European Union

Labour members at their campaign launch.
Labour members at their campaign launch.
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The South Holland and the Deepingsbranch of the Labour Party has launched its campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union.

The group is aiming to publicise the benefits of the UK’s membership of the EU.

Members launched their “Labour in for Britain” campaign on Saturday with a street stall at Spalding Market after drawing up plans at a meeting last Monday. Further events are planned before the June 23 vote.

Constituency chair Wojciech Kowalewski said: “The Prime Minister has been held hostage by the Euro-sceptic wing of his party.

“To appease his hostile backbenchers he has gambled the future of the UK’s membership of the EU, but perhaps inadvertently, he has also gambled the very future of the United Kingdom.

“As the debate seems to be focusing mainly on migration, those involved seem to be turning a blind eye to the potential consequences of a ‘Brexit’. Not only does the ‘Leave Camp’ fail to present a vision of the UK following its exit but it also fails to accept that ‘Brexit’ may give a new impetus to Scottish separatist feelings. Scotland is staunchly in favour of EU membership and the possible exit, brought about mainly by the English vote, may well trigger the second Scottish referendum. This time around it would be far more likely to break up the UK.

“We recognise the benefits of EU membership far outweigh the perceived costs. This is why we will be campaigning for the UK to remain part of the EU.

“We have had recently a surge of letters and opinions in the Free Press and Spalding Guardian on the benefits and perils of our membership.

“Just to counter some of the same-old arguments from the Euro-sceptics, let us dispel some of the myths:

1. “Brussels imposes most of the laws upon us” – Letter by Craig Jackson in the Guardian:

He said the EU imposed 60 per cent of our law, when just 13.2 per cent have anything to do with EU law.

2. In his Free Press column MP John Hayes claimed “the EU Laws imposed upon us are made by unelected EU bureaucrats”:

In fact the European Commission only proposes the laws.

It is the elected European Parliament and the Council of the EU (nationally elected prime ministers or ministers) that debate and pass the laws.

3. The claim “we can enjoy all the benefits like Norway or Switzerland whilst not being an EU Member”:

Norway and Switzerland must pay into the EU and abide by the EU trade regulations, whilst not being able to influence how those regulations are made. They also have to accept freedom of movement of people and capital.

4. “The European Court of Human Rights forces its will on the UK”:

The court is not an EU institution. It is part of the Council of Europe – an entirely separate institution, with separate membership and was set up by partly by Britain after World War Two.

And the reasons for staying in the EU? Labour say:

1. Improved employment rights, including:

• Guaranteed minimum four weeks paid leave;

• Extended maternity leave;

• Working time regulations.

2. Improved consumer protection.

3. Equal pay and non-discrimination laws.

4. Increased inward investment and jobs. The EU is the biggest single market in the world and access to this market and inward investment from Europe is providing some 3.5 million of UK’s jobs.