Birm (IN) gham
Tomorrow is one of the most important days of our time, a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union.
I've always tried to share the excitement and also tried to keep up with the changing face of Birmingham while avoiding editorialising, an aim reflected in Dave Harte's inclusion of me in the top ten of Birmingham's Best Blogs in 2013, http://daveharte.com/birmingham/birminghams-10-best-blogs/
Today however i'm sharing my support of remaining a member of the EU and adding my support to the Birmingham Mail who came out in support on Monday 20 June.
“A vote to remain isn’t a vote that approves of the EU, warts and all. It’s a vote that demands a better Europe – and one that’s better for Birmingham and the UK.”http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2016/news/fourth-trinity-mirror-daily-comes-out-for-remain/
I love Birmingham dearly and for me being in the EU will allow us to continue our regeneration and build on the the EU's support of the city and region.
I studied politics at the University of Birmingham and remember lectures on the EU and its institutions and acronyms. I remember seeing the need to reform the structures of the EU and think there are definitely changes and reforms needed but to do that and to make the EU continue it's benefit to the region we need to remain a member of the EU.
In the words of Monty Python's sketch, what did the Romans ever do for us, what did the EU ever do for Birmingham?
The Birmingham Mail ran a series of articles celebrating the investment of the EU and without repeating all of their points, the EU has done a lot for Birmingham and region.
The EU provided funds which enabled the refurbishment of the Town Hall, the creation of Millennium Point and investment in new facilities at the University of Birmingham, http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/opinion-what-eu-ever-done-11471138. The EU has also supported arts events, research and innovation and inward investment, http://distinctlybirmingham.com/8-reasons-why-being-in-the-eu-is-good-for-birmingham/
12% of UK's manufactured exports come from the West Midlands and of the West Midland's manufacturers exports, 40% go to the EU, https://www.eef.org.uk/about-eef/media-news-and-insights/media-releases/2015/jul/new-report-shows-west-midlands-manufacturers-are-the-most-confident-in-the-uk. 250,000 jobs are linked to the EU, http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/former-foreign-secretary-david-miliband-11506191
Birmingham and the greater region is at the start of an exciting journey with the West Midlands Combined Authority coming into being on the 17th June, the HS2 link to London and the North and the Midlands Engine and transport links between East and West Midlands, http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/midlands-engine-boss-brexit-threatens-11504297.
We are a city built on innovation, ideas and people that helped make it the workshop of the world and now a city which is transforming the world again through engineering, research and culture. We can work with Europe to shape a city that lives truly on it's motto of Forward and will benefit all of it's citizens.