Should we stay or should we go? Newham, it’s all about EU

PUBLISHED: 11:07 10 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:15 11 March 2016

The Union Jack pictured next to the European Union flag in London                  Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

The Union Jack pictured next to the European Union flag in London Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

Press Association Images

This week’s debate asks if Newham would be better off leaving the European Union or remaining.

Dr Tim Hall, principal lecturer of global studies at the University of East LondonDr Tim Hall, principal lecturer of global studies at the University of East London

Last week the results of our EU survey showed 65 per cent of Newham respondents wanted out, while 32pc wanted to stay.

North Woolwich’s Tate & Lyle Sugars vice president said EU “bullies” are threatening 850 jobs.

So we asked Dr Tim Hall, principal lecturer of global studies at the UEL and Gareth Knight, chairman of West Ham Conservatives (writing in a personal capacity): Should we stay in the EU or should we leave?

Gareth Knight, chairman of West Ham ConservativesGareth Knight, chairman of West Ham Conservatives

Dr Tim Hall - Global studies principal lecturer, UEL

The central argument of those calling for Britain to leave the EU is that it will restore sovereignty.

As members of the EU, so the argument goes, we are subject to laws made in Brussels by politicians that we haven’t elected.

Leaving aside the fact that the European Commission makes ‘proposals’, not laws, that have to be agreed by elected heads of government and ratified by an elected European Parliament, and the fact that only 13 per cent of the laws passed by Parliament originate from agreements at the European level, it is nevertheless the case that EU membership involves some “pooling” of sovereignty.

This is something that states have found necessary, given

the increasingly global nature of the problems confronting them.

Take for example the global economy, currently under pressure, that impacts on the UK in multiple ways, such as the continuation of low interest rates, a faltering economy and the extension of austerity.

The only viable response to such global problems is to co-ordinate economic policy through organisations like the EU and the IMF.

The case is similar with the refugee crisis.

Only through co-ordinated action is an effective humanitarian response to the crisis possible.

The fact that the EU is currently struggling to mount one is no argument for ditching the institutions that would make such a response possible.

In these instances, and in many others, to pool sovereignty is not to lose the power to govern oneself, but instead to gain the power to shape events that the isolated nation state is otherwise powerless to influence.

Gareth Knight - Chairman of West Ham Conservatives (writing in a personal capacity)

In Newham we have a serious GP shortage, with patients struggling to get appointments, yet UK politicians send £350 million of taxpayers’ money to the EU every week.

That’s enough to build a fully staffed NHS hospital.

We should spend the money we send to Brussels on our priorities which benefit our families, communities and businesses.

Governments of all colours have handed over too much control to the EU.

Over half our laws now come from Brussels.

The European Court has the final say on key decisions such as whether we can deport dangerous criminals.

Whilst we are in the EU, we will have to accept that EU law trumps UK law.

A vote to stay in the EU is NOT a vote for the status quo. It means handing over more money and more control to Brussels - permanently.

If we vote to leave the EU we can take back control of our own affairs.

We can strike free trade agreements with countries around the world, making our economy more dynamic and diverse.

We can create a fairer immigration system which gives priority to the brightest, the best and the most in need from across the globe.

Why should migrants with Commonwealth backgrounds, who have made Newham the borough it is, be discriminated against for the sake of protecting the EU?

UK politicians will be able to make our own laws, and we can vote them out if we disagree with them.

The safer choice is to Vote Leave.

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