Whenever I have conversations in which I am defending Britain’s membership of the EU, I am always put in mind of the “What have the Romans done ever done for us?” scene from Life of Brian.
“All right, but apart from access to the world’s largest common market, mechanisms to prevent governments breaching citizen’s rights, environmental protections to defend against the effects of climate change, and the longest period of uninterrupted peace in European history, what has the European Union ever done for us?”
It is, granted, a lot easier to be against the EU than for it, and it is an organisation that still needs considerable reform to make it fit for the 21st century — and I’d start with the European Parliament, the very body in which UKIP have set up their money-grubbing shop. But I maintain that a) the advantages of being in the club still outweigh the disadvantages, and b) such reform is better pursued from inside.
But in looking at what the EU does do for us, it is perhaps worth looking locally. What has the EU done for Southend?