Rebecca Taylor was MEP for Yorkshire and Humber from 2012-2014. To see Rebecca's latest activity, you can follow her on Twitter at @rtaylor_libdem.

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Blog

Why I am voting REMAIN


  1. Above all, the EU is a political endeavour to create peace through trade and it has WORKED! My grandparents* (sadly no longer with us), lived through world war two and some of its horrors. The EU is the Europe that came after that and said “never again”.

  2. Being a key player in Brussels increases Britain’s standing in the world. Our global allies like the USA and Commonwealth countries appreciate our voice being in the room, and our very British pragmatism and level-headedness is appreciated by many of our European partners.

    Despite the attempts of Leavers to do Britain down and paint us as a helpless victim of the rest of the EU, since 1999, the UK has been outvoted 2% of the time. So in fact we’re very good at getting British priorities accepted at EU level. We should be proud of this! Being outside the door when crucial decisions about our continent are being made would be a loss of control and influence for the UK.

  3. I believe in cooperation! In an interconnected world facing serious challenges, Britain can do much more by working together with our European neighbours to tackle the big issues like climate change, organised crime and terrorism.

  4. The UK economy benefits massively from being part of the world’s biggest single market. It’s not just about big corporations exporting good and more importantly services (8/10 British jobs) seamlessly, but also universities, the science sector, the tech sector, the green economy, the arts, farming and more.

    It’s also about the billions of pounds of foreign direct investment from companies setting up EU operations in the UKand the many jobs and opportunities that creates.

  5. Worker’s rights including paid holidays, pension rights, parental leave and anti-discrimination rules are enhanced by EU membership. The EU sets minimum standards below which no decent country should fall; the UK is free to set higher standards. When many on the Leave side talk about “cutting red tape”; remember they mean worker’s rights.

  6. The EU has led the world on tackling climate change and protecting the environmentoften with Britain at the forefront. At home this has meant cleaner beaches and greater protection of our beautiful countryside and native wildlife.

BRITS DON’T QUIT!
SO LET’S VOTE REMAIN TO LEAD NOT LEAVE! 
* If they were, as committed Pro-Europeans, they’d be voting REMAIN….

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EU free movement is NOT unconditional!


Judging from media coverage of the referendum, many Brits would be excused for believing that EU free movement is absolutely unconditional and that the UK has no right to refuse entry to any EU national or prevent them living here long term. Hence the accusations of “uncontrolled” EU migration.

This is false, because the rules are quite clear that EU citizens can be refused entry to the UK on the (rather broad) grounds of public policy, public security or public health. Decisions have to be taken on a case-by-case basis entry can be refused if an individual represents a current and serious threat to the UK.
The Home Office recently confirmed that since 2010, 6,500 EU citizens were refused entry to the UK (see article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36101449).
So let’s be clear: THE UNITED KINGDOM CAN AND DOES REFUSE TO ALLOW SOME EU CITIZENS TO ENTRY THE COUNTRY.
Secondly, EU law is equally clear that an EU citizen can only stay in another EU country for longer than three months if:

  • The person can show they are working (employed or self-employed) or have sufficient resources to support themselves e.g. via a pension or other income/savings

 

  • The person has comprehensive sickness insurance to cover their healthcare needs e.g. valid European Health Insurance Card enabling the NHS to claim back the cost of treatment or private health insurance

So this means that EU CITIZENS HAVE NO RIGHT TO STAY IN THE UK LONGER THAN THREE MONTHS IF THEY AREN’T WORKING OR CAN’T SUPPORT THEMSELVES.
Factsheet on the relevant legislation: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_2.1.3.html
EU CITIZENS COME TO THE UK TO WORK AND STUDIES SHOW THEY PAY MORE IN TAXES THAN THEY RECEIVE IN BENEFITS AND PUBLIC SERVICES. So in fact they make a net contribution to the UK economy.
A UCL study showed that from 2001-2011, EU citizens as a whole made a £5 billion net contribution to the UK economy: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1114/051114-economic-impact-EU-immigration
Rapid Formations study found that EU citizens contribute 13.5% more to the UK than they receive in benefits or public services: http://www.cityam.com/213058/eu-immigrants-contribute-463-second-uk-economy
CONTRARY TO TABLOID MYTH, EU CITIZENS CAN’T COME TO THE UK AND IMMEDIATELY CLAIM BENEFITS, but must be genuinely resident in the UK and have contributed in order to pass what is called the “habitual residence test” which requires:
  • The person is currently working or self-employed and earning enough to pay national insurance contributions
  • The person is self-sufficient e.g. via a pension or savings, or a student
  • The person has been living in the UK for at least five years is therefore a permanent resident
Failing the habitual residence test means a person is refused all means-tested benefitssuch as job seekers allowance, tax credits, housing benefit etc. EU job seekers cannot claim means tested benefits for the first three months and are heavily restricted (it’s nearly impossible) to claim after three months, even if they have a verified job offer.
More information can be found here:
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/coming-from-abroad-and-claiming-benefits-the-habitual-residence-test/the-habitual-residence-test-an-introduction/what-is-the-habitual-residence-test/
https://fullfact.org/economy/migration-and-welfare-benefits/
http://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/migrants-benefits-and-uks-renegotiation-questions-and-answers-updated#.V2kGTHqGfnw
Following David Cameron’s renegotiations, in future EU citizens will have to wait four years before being able to claim in-work benefits such as housing benefit in the same way as Brits do:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12136400/Will-David-Camerons-EU-benefits-deal-actually-encourage-migrants-to-stay-longer.html
EU CITIZENS ARE ALSO LESS LIKELY TO CLAIM BENEFITS THAN NATIVE BORN BRITS.
See: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/britons-43-more-likely-claim-4669678
Official government figures showed that in 2015, EU nationals made up 6% of the workforce, but only 2.2% of out of work benefit claims. British And of course some of those EU citizens claiming out of work benefits will have lived and paid taxes in the UK for many years, so it’s only fair that they can claim if they lose their job.
DWP data:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456074/nino-registrations-adult-overseas-nationals-june-2015.pdf
In terms of in-work benefits like child tax credits and housing benefit, EU workers make up around 7% of claims. See UK Parliament report: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06955.pdf

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Young people & Europe

Here is the unabridged version of my letter to the Evening Standard which was published last week:Dear Evening Standard,The 13 June letters about young people seem to think EU membership is only about opportunities to work, study and travel across Euro…

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Media Releases

MEPs welcome funding boost for Yorkshire project

Yorkshire & Humber Liberal Democrat MEPs Edward McMillan-Scott and Rebecca Taylor have welcomed €300m EU funding for Yorkshire’s White Rose carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. The pioneering project in Selby, North Yorkshire qualified for a grant under a scheme …

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Rebecca Taylor: Greater corporate transparency on the way thanks to the EU

Rebecca Taylor, Lib Dem MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, has successfully pushed through measures that will lead to better transparency for large companies. The European Parliament adopted rules that will require around 6000 large companies across Europe to report …

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MEPs vote to scrap mobile roaming charges in EU by December 2015

The European Parliament has voted to scrap mobile roaming charges in the EU by December 2015 following a successful campaign by Liberal Democrat MEPs. Current EU caps on roaming charges have saved consumers across the EU an estimated £8bn since …

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ALDE

Simplifying ESI Funds: ALDE group demands better and more effective use of EU funding

ALDE-MEP and chair of the Committee on Regional Development Iskra Mihaylova hosted a conference today, bringing together Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission as well as representatives of the cons…

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Turkey: Liberals and Democrats condemn the horrific attack in Atatürk Airport

Turkey: Liberals and Democrats condemn the horrific attack in Atatürk Airport
The ALDE Group in the European Parliament strongly condemns the terrorist attack, which took place yesterday in Atatürk Airport, Istanbul, killing more than 35 people, with over 140 injured.

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Brexit: European Parliament demands immediate UK exit and EU reforms

Brexit: European Parliament demands immediate UK exit and EU reforms
After a debate this morning in the European Parliament, MEP’s today adopted a resolution, with a large nearly two third majority on the way forward after the UK referendum on 23rd June. It stresses that the United Kingdom must respect the wish of a majority of the British citizens and has to officially withdraw from the EU by directly triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.  

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