We received a simple question this Christmas Eve, "Trying to understand why you want Great Britain and Northern Ireland to stay in the EU?" As an end of year roundup, we thought we'd publish our response as an open letter. The EU is a boost to our universities, our NHS, our industries, our jobs, our peace and our economy. That's become pretty clear this year. Here's our summary of why we think the way we do.
Dear XXX, thanks for getting in touch.
We hope we can answer your question with the following list of reasons for wanting to be part of the EU.
The Lancet is one of the world's most prestigioius medical journals. In this recent article, health experts evaluated every type of Brexit and tried to give a score for how it would impact the NHS. Every type of Brexit damages our NHS.
On the other hand, our government hasn't performed any impact assessments on how Brexit will affect our NHS, or any other institution.
Really, we could exit from Brexit and give our NHS the £20bn per year it requires instead.
Of course, that's just the NHS and the economy and jobs and so on.
For science, there are also major problems.
Some of this may seem like scaremongering, but the other way to view it is: the EU has been a boost to our NHS (which has been starved of funds for 7 years); it's a boost to our university and education systems; it's a boost to our industries like farming and car manufacturing and fishing; it boosts our GDP which we can then use to fund our public services (or not, under the Austerity government.)
A prime example of this is the problems with the Irish border. Leaving the EU is proving very problematic for maintaining peace and stability in Northern Ireland. That sounds like scaremongering again. But the other way to look at it is that EU membership really helped bring about the Good Friday Agreement because it simplified issues about moving people and goods and services across the border in Ireland and the border between Ireland and the mainland UK.
The big question really is why would we want to go ahead with Brexit?
Generally speaking the Leave campaign has admitted that they lost the economic argument and they lost the science and trade and other arguments. The only thing they won was the appeal for 'more sovereignty' and the control of immigration.