MEPs welcome sensible approach to Europe

13 April 2015

Labour MEPs for the North East of England have welcomed Labour’s manifesto position on Europe 

The manifesto reads

Labour believes that our membership of the European Union is central to our prosperity and security. It is why we will work to change the EU, so that it operates in the best interests of our country. And it is why we will re-engage with our European allies to protect our national interest after five years of Britain being sidelined in Europe and isolated abroad.

The economic case for membership of the EU is overwhelming. Over 3 million jobs in the UK are linked to trade with the European Union, and almost half of our trade and foreign investment comes from the EU. Competing in the single market, with the best companies in the world, drives competitiveness and innovation for firms in all parts of our economy. And it helps boost the living standards of people across Britain, encouraging the inflow of capital and investment.

Our reforms will help deliver a Europe focused on jobs and growth, not simply more austerity and rising unemployment. Labour will focus on the completion of the single market and tougher budget discipline, including on those items where spending at the EU level can save money at the national level. That means driving reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and a Commission-led zero-based review of spending on EU agencies to reduce waste and inefficiency. We will not join the Euro, and we will ensure EU rules protect the interests of non-Euro members.

A Labour Government helped to introduce sensible measures at EU level to protect the rights of British workers, and we remain committed to fighting to protect these measures.

People coming to Britain from the EU to look for work are expected to contribute to our economy, and to our society. So we will secure reforms to immigration and social security rules, as well as pushing for stronger transitional controls, which will enable member states to manage the flow of workers for longer when new countries join.

We will also continue to open up EU decision-making, and implement institutional reforms to help build levels of trust among European citizens. We will work to strengthen the influence national parliaments over European legislation, by arguing for a ‘red-card mechanism’ for member states, providing greater parliamentary scrutiny.

Labour’s priority in government will be protecting the NHS and tackling the cost-of-living crisis. It is not to take Britain out of Europe. However, Labour will legislate for a lock that guarantees that there can be no transfer of powers from Britain to the European Union without the consent of the British public through an in/out referendum.

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