Benefits of Europe
10:20am Friday 14th March 2014 in Letters
I was unaware that, according to Geithin James, the main problems besetting Wales and the UK, were bat surveys and EU procurement policies . The reason is that perhaps, I did not read UKIP's last manifesto as Nigel Farage recently also admitted to not having done. I am currently having, due storm damage, the roof on our house fixed. We had a bat survey done and to be honest, whilst it was a bit fiddly, it did not kill me. Foolishly, I had relied on such inexperienced conservationists as National Geographic, to supply me with information on the just recovering bat population. Strangely, they claim it is down to the EU preservation measures. Had I realised that UKIP knew these regulations were all down to a diminishing bat population in Spain, I would have merrily slaughtered any bats I found. Probably immigrant Spanish bats anyway.
The EU Procurement policy allows UK companies to compete in a vast market, Europe, and thus safeguard jobs in Wales and the UK. It only applies to larger amounts and in fact has just been made easier for smaller companies to participate. Whilst it may not be perfect it does at least offer local companies access larger markets than is possible in the declining economy of Wales. Incidentally, 47% of UK exports go to Europe, the export made easier by the advantages of being in a free movement of goods pact i.e. the EU. All EU companies have to compete under the same regulations.
I also find it strange that such a strong supporter of the famed local airport, build with a large chunk of EU money, now wants to scarper from those who poured money into the project (and no the UK does not contribute the most funds to the EU). The same would apply to the coastal footpath, Cardigan castle, several trunk roads, free IT training for the unemployed and local businesses, small business support funding, etc.etc. The EU is trying to cap the bonuses that bankers receive - the only country in the EU who challenge that is the UK, who are even going to court to allow as large as bonuses as the bankers want to award themselves. On the social side, EU policies have helped bring maternity and paternity leave up to European standards, increased our holiday allowances, helped part-time workers gain better rights, improved women's equality and a host of other social benefits.
Like all large organisations, the EU institutions are in need of constant tweaking and changes, but so is our council, the Welsh Government and certainly the UK government. The biggest folly is that anyone can actually think that the UK can go it alone in this world of trading blocks is living in the past. The UK, with its minimal manufacturing capability is not a world power, is not a major trading nation and is certainly not big enough to compete on its own against such countries as the USA, China and the EU. So UKIP welcome to the reality of now and not the delusions of the past.
If we had not joined the EU would any UK government poured so much money into Wales, let alone West Wales? Going by its past record of neglect, 100% not.
We need our bats.