The EU has been good for The North: McGlone

There won’t be many reading this who haven’t had a knock on the door from me over the years, campaigning as I have done for twenty odd years on a number of issues. But few have been as important as this one.

You know I am a representative for all. I don’t pick and choose who gets my help; I will do my damnedest for any person who walks into my office or calls my phone to get the result you need.

OPINION By Patsy McGlone sdlp mla

Trust me now when I say that staying in the EU is the result we all need.

The importance of the decision facing us on the 23rd June cannot be overstated. It will have wide-ranging and unprecedented effects for decades to come. The acute and most immediate of which will be felt here, and not on the doorstep of Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage. It makes the DUP’s decision to campaign for a Leave vote utterly baffling. And the need for us to vote Remain all the more important.

1 in 8 jobs depend on trade with the EU. The EU supports our peace and enhances our economy. It has provided a wealth of opportunity to our students and young people. Our membership enshrines our maternity and paternity rights. Without the EU, none of these are guaranteed.

Across the board, the overwhelming evidence from businesses, financial institutions and academics makes clear all we stand to lose if we allow ourselves to drift away from Europe. A collapse in the value of the pound and the value of our homes, the return of border checkpoints and recession. The Out Camp have dismissed this expert advice in outrageously cavalier fashion.

Like an armchair general, Boris Johnson has accepted the hardship of others as collateral damage, a necessary sacrifice. He, along with the DUP will let you take it on the chin.

For those thinking about voting to leave it is time for some hard truths. Elites like Boris Johnson do not care about the money in your pocket or opportunities for your children. He is gambling your future over a game of Tory party poker in a desperate effort to become Prime Minister, and the DUP have proven themselves no better.

We will lose more than anywhere else if we leave the EU. The North is a substantial beneficiary from Europe – our nominal share of the UK fee is £375m and we get back £425m in direct grants from Europe, saying nothing of the wider trade benefit. Mid Ulster is well reputed internationally for its manufacturing base – our export market which depends by over half on direct trade with the EU would be at risk. And for what? They say everything will stay the same. But why then must we take a jump in the dark and risk our stability and security?

The out camp says we must control our own borders. That means border controls. They say we’ll make better trade deals. That’ll only happen if we agree to the free movement of people.

They say the NHS will get more money. Their lead campaigner walked out on them for making that up. They have not done their homework; they are bluffing; they have nothing to lose. We do.

Farmers will not survive the immediate withdrawal of £236million with no guarantee it will be replaced, our recovering exporters will not last a decade of stagnation as they wait years for prophesied trade deals with India, and we cannot afford another lost generation of young people as investors go elsewhere to create jobs.

The European Union has been good for people in the North, people on the island of Ireland and people across Europe. It has supported peace and brought prosperity. It encourages us to reach across divides. It means opportunity. To secure your future, to secure the future of your family, on June 23rd, vote Remain.