Who Was In Blissful Ignorance Of EU Funding?

Where does the EU obtain the money to fund its spending?

The EU’s sources of income include contributions from member countries, import duties on products from outside the EU and fines imposed when businesses fail to comply with EU rules. The EU countries agree on the size of the budget and how it is to be financed several years in advance.

The EU budget supports growth and job creation. Under the cohesion policy, it funds investment to help bridge economic gaps between EU countries and regions. It also helps develop rural areas in Europe. It clearly fails in many cases, as in Greece and Spain, where unemployment for young people has been a disgrace for years.

A public meeting at Aughton Village Hall recently debated how Brexit would affect West Lancashire. Around 50 people attended.

A person from ‘Our Future Our Choice’ spoke in belief that life chances for young people would be diminished for work and studying which Brexit would diminish. His belief in a final vote rather than a general election is the best way to break the impasse. But he presumably does know about those EU failures to assist millions of young EU “citizens”.

A Labour MEP, Theresa Griffin MEP,   predicated a 12% loss to the NW economy based on government figures in the event of a No-deal Brexit. She suggested low paid part-time employees would be worst hit with increased unemployment and job insecurity. It’s just more “pie in the sky guesswork”!

She claimed “There is no such thing as a clean break from the EU” saying “We will be locked into trade negotiations with the EU for years and will have to comply with relevant regulations”. On the contrary, the European Union has been a World Trade Organisation member since 1 January 1995. The 28 member States of the EU are also WTO members in their own right. If they want the benefit of OUR trade, WTO would apply. If not, so what?

Labour County Councillor John Fillis, who represents Skelmersdale East, named 10 companies, skills and community projects in West Lancashire that have benefited from EU funding. He may know some reason why it isn’t better to keep our own money and spend it here rather than give it away and then request it back again?

Cllr Fillis apparently said that the Southport, Ormskirk, Wrightington and Wigan hospitals employ 250 staff from the EU “whose future is uncertain”. Perhaps he hasn’t heard about the EU Settlement Scheme with its settled criteria? If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

Ken Lamden, Chair of People’s Vote West Lancashire claimed “I’ve rarely seen an audience so engaged. Based on the speakers’ predictions it’s clear that politicians are using ‘project fear’ to avoid the meaningful debate that we deserve. We will continue to campaign for a People’s Vote and attempt to engage our MP Rosie Cooper who sent her apologies for the meeting”.

A strange claim for “project fear”, which is surely the raison d’etre for opponents of the leave programme to suggest Armageddon? And, of course, people of West Lancashire voted in 2016, to “Leave by 55.3% (35,323 ) to 44.7%, (28,546), on a turnout of 74.4%”. But it wasn’t a “peoples’ vote”, apparently!

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