In exactly one month’s time the people of our three nations will be voting in a referendum that could prove to be defining for a generation.
As parties who share progressive values, a belief in equality and in protecting our environment we believe that membership of the EU is an important part of embedding the rights and protections we rely on.
The European Union is not perfect and we would each propose changes, but we believe that the benefits of the EU are significant.
The EU is good for working people across Scotland, Wales and England – with rules limiting the amount of hours we have to work, providing equal treatment for part-time and agency workers and guaranteeing health and safety at work.
Being a part of the European Union is good for women. From maternity and paternity leave for parents, workplace rights during pregnancy, to rules protecting against harassment and unequal treatment, women in Britain benefit from the EU. Crucially, these rules – which span the continent – help halt a race to the bottom of firms trying to find the least protected workforce where workers enjoy the fewest rights.
The EU also gives us all the freedom to live, work, study and retire in any one of 28 countries.
That freedom of movement – which has been so beneficial to our economy here in the UK – is often the focus of attack by other parties, but we celebrate it and call on the Government to do more to ensure that it works for everyone.
Being a part of the EU is good for our young people, allowing them the freedom to explore the continent, learning as they go and in turn, returning home with a wealth of knowledge and perspectives that creates a society that is truly outward looking.
The EU isn’t just an abstract concept – it matters to all of us every day. It’s our right to get home from work in time to see our families, it’s the air that we breathe, it’s clean beaches on our holidays , it’s equality between men and women in the workplace and it’s the historical anomaly of living in a Europe of lasting peace between neighbours.
Across our three parties we believe that membership of the EU is ultimately in the best interests of the UK and of Scotland and Wales.
For us the choice on June 23rd is simple: does being a member of the European Union make Britain fairer, more prosperous, greener and safer? The resounding answer is yes – which is why we’ll be spending the next four weeks making the positive case for EU membership.
– Nicola Sturgeon MSP is Scotland’s First Minister and SNP Leader
– Leanne Wood AM is Plaid Cymru Leader
– Caroline Lucas is the Green Party of England and Wales MP for Brighton Pavilion