All these EU goodies for the price of a packet of biscuits
I'VE just read the rant by Juliette Blunkett (The Herald, January 12) saying we're paying £40m a day for the privilege of being in the European Club, and asking what we get out of it.
Not much apart from: providing 57 per cent of our trade; structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline; clean beaches and rivers; cleaner air; lead-free petrol; restrictions on landfill dumping; a recycling culture, cheaper mobile charges; cheaper air travel; improved consumer protection and food labelling; a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives; better product safety; single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance; break-up of monopolies; no paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market; price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the Euro zone; freedom to travel, live and work across Europe; funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad; access to European health services; labour protection and enhanced social welfare; smoke-free workplaces; equal pay legislation; holiday entitlement; the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime; strongest wildlife protection in the world; improved animal welfare in food production; cross-border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter-terrorism intelligence; support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond, investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.
But as a pensioner I think all that is nothing compared to the greatest achievement: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation for peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed.
Oh, by the way, our net contribution is £7bn, out of a total budget of £695bn, which is £19m a day, which is about 65p per day for all of us, about the price of a packet of biscuits! Pretty good value I would have thought! So, as a pensioner, I shan't be supporting the calls of UKIP.
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