Vote Remain, show the world what it means to live in unity.

EUUKThe world isn’t the same as it was when the common market was formed back in 1957, or even when the EU was officially formed in 1993. Many of the major problems facing our planet are problems of international magnitude. Air pollution crosses borders, wildlife crosses borders. In our global economy, goods, services and workers cross borders.

The United Kingdom is a great country, and no doubt we would survive economically outside the EU. But we cannot tackle climate change single-handed. We can’t protect our migrating wildlife, our pollinators, our habitats or our environment alone. We need our influence in the European Union to make sure that the other member states are doing their part to protect the planet for future generations, and we need the EU’s clout on the international stage to make sure that other countries like America, China and Russia are doing the same.

In a global economy where we can buy food and clothes from any country in the world, we need rules to make sure that what we’re buying is safe and sustainable. We need to protect workers’ rights not just in our own country, but across the whole continent so that companies can’t play nations off against each other in a race to the bottom of the barrel. The European Union project sets an example to the world that countries working together can overcome their differences and settle disputes diplomatically, through dialogue and compromise, rather than war or economic sanctions.

I don’t believe the scaremongering from either side of the referendum campaign. Whether we leave or remain in the EU, the world won’t implode in a single day. But I do know what a leave vote would mean. A leave vote would be a signal to the world that the UK is done co-operating. It would be a mandate for prominent leave campaigners to begin deregulating big business, and set us back years in social and environmental progress. Our relationship with the EU isn’t perfect, but walking away from it won’t solve our problems.

At a time of great pressure on our finances and on the environment, a time of humanitarian crisis and terror, we need to send a signal to the world that we can work together to overcome these issues. I’m voting remain on June 23rd. Please vote remain with me and show the world that we can live together in unity.

Printed in: Wilts&Glos StandardThe Week In (16 June)