Category Archives: 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.
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:
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:
EU CITIZENS ARE ALSO LESS LIKELY TO CLAIM BENEFITS THAN NATIVE BORN BRITS.
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:
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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Cut through the noise & get unbiased background & facts on the EU referendum!


A lot of people, particularly undecided voters, complain that they struggle to find good quality unbiased information so they can weigh up the arguments for REMAIN and LEAVE and then make up their own mind. 
There are a number of reliable non-biased information sources which either present both sides of the debate and/or fact check the claims coming from the IN and OUT campaigns:

(1) Fullfact is an independent fact-checking charity which is examining claims from IN and OUT campaigns: https://fullfact.org/europe/.

Worth noting that 38 degrees, the campaigning organisation, which has no position on the EU referendum, is advising its members to consult fullfact, see: https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2016/04/12/eu-referendum-lets-get-the-facts/



(2) BBC news EU referendum reality check: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35603388

Interestingly enough, the BBC EU referendum reality check conclusions have sometimes contradicted news reporting by the BBC (which isn’t a great advert for BBC impartiality and accuracy….)

(3) Channel Four fact check on the EU: http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/category/europe




(4) King’s College London website promoting high quality independent research on the UK’s relationship with the EU. Also includes some fact checking of claims from both sides:  http://ukandeu.ac.uk/

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No Turkey is not joining the EU anytime soon

In a clear attempt to avoid talking about the economy (after Gove “the clever one” came up with #Let’sBeAlbania and it tanked. Badly.), Leave campaigners returned to their favourite #ProjectFear by scaremongering that staying in the EU will see the UK …

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David Cameron’s EUnormas challenge

As a consequence of his abject failure to stand up to his own right wing Eurosceptic bankbenchers, David Cameron has given himself the greatest challenge of his political life: how to avoid going down in history as the Prime Minister who oversaw the…

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The poisonous climate of racism/xenophobia UKIP rhetoric creates

This morning an ex-flatmate of mine, a Yorkshire girl of Indian heritage (UK born and raised British citizen), had a very unpleasant experience on her commute to work. Two older men were sat near her on the train talking loudly about how they were goin…

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Liberal Democrat manifesto supports vapers!

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release 15 April 2015

Liberal Democrat manifesto supports vapers!

The Liberal Democrats manifesto released today Wednesday 15 April 2015 recognises that electronic cigarettes are a way out of tobacco for many people, and that any restrictions should be proportionate and evidence based. (1)

The party has also ruled out a ban on vaping in public places. There is no evidence of bystander harm from vaping and making it more difficult for people to vape risks discouraging smokers from making the switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes. In addition, forcing vapers to stand with smokers and be exposed to the product they are trying to avoid, seems somewhat perverse.

Rebecca Taylor, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Morley and Outwood, former Yorkshire and Humber MEP and campaigner on tobacco harm reduction (2) welcomed the move:

“I am very glad that my party has taken a Liberal and pragmatic position on e-cigarettes and vaping. I hope that other political parties will see through the misleading research put out by some (3) and come to the same conclusion”.

ENDS

Notes for editors

(1) The manifesto text (on page 76 http://www.libdems.org.uk/read-full-manifesto) is: “Carefully monitor the growing evidence base around electronic cigarettes, which appear to be a route by which many people are quitting tobacco, and ensure restrictions on marketing and use are proportionate and evidence based. For example, we support restrictions ton advertising which risks promoting tobacco or targets under 18s, such as those introduced in 2014, but would rule out a statutory ban on “vaping” in public places.”

(2) In a personal capacity Rebecca Taylor is an associate of the New Nicotine Alliance (http://nnalliance.org/about-us/associates/40-taylor) and is on the advisory board of a large scale study on the use of e-cigarettes, which is currently applying for funding.

(3) For a good explanation of much of the misleading research on e-cigarettes, please see: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/02/12/a-marathon-not-swings-and-roundabouts-the-evidence-on-e-cigarettes/

Contact:

email: rtaylorlibdem@gmail.com
Twitter @RTaylor_LibDem

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Things I learned about Morley and Outwood no 2 – people care about nature

Many voters care about natureI have received many emails from voters in Morley and Outwood asking me to “Vote for Bob”.A vote for Bob (FYI Bob is a red squirrel) is a commitment to put nature higher up the political agenda and Bob’s biggest supporter i…

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Things I learned about Morley and Outwood no 1

Ed Balls invites working people to meet him at daytime coffee mornings during the week (!?)When I announced that I was standing for the LibDems in Morley and Outwood against Labour MP Ed Balls, a friend who lives in the constituency joked “Will you be…

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