Stay in Europe for solidarity across borders

Environmental problems don’t respect national boundaries

Whether it’s the global fight against climate change, or issues like air pollution and clean beaches, this is one planet and we all share it. It is impossible for one country to fight climate change on its own, and environmental damage doesn’t pay any attention to borders. That means we have to work together, across Europe and internationally, to protect our environment.

Key safeguards protecting wildlife and tackling climate change have been won at a European level. By establishing a level playing field they stop a ‘race to the bottom’ on environmental standards.

The Tory government has constantly cut environmental regulations in recent years, and the EU itself should be doing much more – but staying in the EU ensures there is a minimum standard the UK can’t fall below. In contrast, the Leave campaign is full of climate change deniers who will slash environmental regulations the first chance they get.

▸ Greens for a Better Europe
▸ Friends of the Earth on the referendum

Illustration: Cressida Knapp

We need co-operation to stop tax dodgers and speculators

Financial regulation, whether it’s to stop tax avoidance or cut down market speculation, is no longer effective at national level. Multinational corporations need to be regulated across borders – even a left wing government in Britain would not be able to restrain corporate power on its own.

It’s true that the EU has broadly neoliberal policies. But it has taken steps to, for example, bring in a raft of new financial regulations in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The EU put a cap on bankers’ bonuses – despite Britain suing to try to stop it. Brexit would lead to a new round of financial deregulation.

The EU has also done a lot of work to stop tax avoidance – in contrast to a British government that has barely lifted a finger. In fact, outside the EU, Britain itself could end up becoming an offshore tax haven, just off the coast of Europe.

“No organisation in the world has done more to crack open tax haven secrecy than the EU. That’s a lot to lose.”
Richard Murphy, tax justice campaigner

For peace in Europe

It is not so long ago – only a few generations – that Europe was divided by two world wars which killed millions. Of course you can’t attribute the peace since entirely to the EU, but its creation was nevertheless part of building post-war institutions of cooperation, and avoiding a return to the conflicts of the past.

There have been wars in Europe since, but no two EU countries have ever gone to war. And many people feel that building closer ties across Europe makes it less likely that we will ever return to those dark days.