What signs are there that we’ve benefited from EU?

The Rev Canon Bob White with representatives of the groups involved in our Christmas campaignh run with churches in Portsmouth - Comfort and Joy

NEWS COMMENT: Dig deep and help to spread some comfort this Christmas

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Do we really need to be part of Europe? Would my simple life in Gosport be any better or worse if things did change and we parted from the EU?

Apart from being twinned with Royan in France and a few Polish bus drivers, you would never know we were part of the union.

I mean, what signs have we got locally that we’ve benefited from it?

We still need our passports to enter Europe and we still have pound sterling.

You may consider the French cities of Le Havre and Cherbourg, linked with Portsmouth by ferry, as dumps. But you couldn’t be more wrong.

Millions have been spent recently on major construction works and both cities are worth a visit.

I hear of many European cities that have had investment in regeneration from Brussels, but here in Gosport we still have a 1930s road network, a 1960s high street and a 1970s bus station.

With our National Health Service and soft benefits system, many immigrants from European countries are now working in the UK.

But how many of us are heading abroad looking for a better life?

Seems we are the cream and we are currently being licked.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not flying the Farage UKIP flag, but I do feel we as a country are getting a raw deal from Europe.

We’re putting far more in than we’re getting out.

I heard a very interesting comment this week about Europe and why many embrace it over the water.

Most European countries were occupied during the Second World War.

We cannot comprehend what this does to a nation, the fear of it happening again.

So, joining together means a better chance of living in peace.

The emerging markets are the Far East and South America. Do we still need to line the EU’s pocket?

I would like us to be more akin to Norway and Switzerland. They are out of the EU but part of the European Economic Area.

They still have integration, but with less interference.