LETTER: Freedom of movement

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Freedom of movement, like other freedoms, should be celebrated.

EU rules allowing free movement are overwhelmingly positive and an important reason for people to vote to Remain on June 23.

EU membership enables students to study in Europe, Brits to seek employment in 27 other EU countries, mixed nationality couples to meet and share their lives, and Brits to retire abroad.

More than one million ex-pat Brits are currently enjoying these rights. Every year more than 10,000 UK students attend European universities and this experience is shown to improve their long-term job prospects.

EU citizens living here enrich our lives. Research shows that workers from the EU make an important net contribution to our economy. They are less likely to claim benefits or to use the NHS and other public services than people born in Britain.

The Green Party is grateful to these carers, doctors, nurses, teachers, builders and other workers who opt to leave their homes and families to work here.

Greens reject the xenophobic tone of the arguments from those who want to see us leave the EU. The undeniable problems the UK faces in housing, education, skills, health and transport are the result of government cuts and failure to properly plan and invest – not immigration.

Our lives are already deeply intertwined with our European neighbours and we wouldn’t want it any other way. The UK is economically and culturally richer in the EU and it is vital we Remain.

Keith Taylor

Green Party MEP for the South East