EU Referendum: Volunteer for St Albans arm of Britain Stronger in Europe speaks out
PUBLISHED: 18:49 14 June 2016 | UPDATED: 18:49 14 June 2016
Staying in the EU gives people in St Albans district a "whole continent of opportunity in which to work, travel, live and study" a local campaigner has said.
Chris Ford, a volunteer with the St Albans arm of Britain Stronger in Europe, has been joining fellow Remain supporters at a stall at the city’s Saturday market in the run up to the June 23 referendum.
He said the group, which has no political party affiliations, was voting to remain as members felt ‘strongly’ on two points in particular.
Chris explained: “Firstly, we believe remaining in the EU gives us an influential voice in an increasingly uncertain world. Secondly, being in the EU enables our economy to continue to grow, leading to increased numbers of jobs and improved standards of living for the next generation.”
Asked how staying in the European Union would help St Albans, Chris replied: “Being in the EU gives people in the district a whole continent of opportunity to work, travel, live and study. Also, the long term prosperity of St Albans depends upon open trade for the strong services industry of the district, and the city of London, and our local businesses having access to consumers throughout the continent.”
The campaigner added: “Of note, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has recently secured around £50 million of EU funding to grow local businesses and stimulate the economy.”
Chris said positive aspects of remaining in the EU included employment rights protection around paid holiday and maternity/paternity leave, “the power and cohesion to tackle climate change, a continuing growth of our strong economy to secure our jobs and pensions, a voice on EU policy and legislation through our elected representatives and health insurance for travel across the EU.
“Young people in St Albans will continue to have the right to study, live and work anywhere across the EU if we remain. That freedom improves their job prospects, as well as being rich cultural experiences.”
Harking back to St Albans’ history, Chris went on: “St Albans was a prominent part of the Roman empire in the UK. It benefited from trade links and the opportunities these brought.
“Today the difference is that St Albans stands proud as part of the UK, and as part of Europe. It’s sad that people are claiming that we have to leave the EU to make Britain great again.
“St Albans is a great place to live and work, and the EU is part of that network of opportunities and relationships which help to make that possible.”
Chris warned that should the UK leave the European Union, “trade rules are less likely to favour the UK, and investment might go to other parts of Europe.
“Remaining in the EU gives opportunities for us and our children both locally and across the continent.”
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