The United Kingdom today (Tuesday 1st January 2013) has been a member of the European Union for 40 years.

Northwest MEP Chris Davies says that EU membership has helped to maintain British influence in a fast-changing world.

“We applied to join late because politicians realised that Britain was being left behind and losing influence. The EU remains for now the largest trading bloc in the world and I believe the UK has contributed a great deal to make it more prosperous.”

Mr Davies says that membership of the European Union has boosted British trade and helped create more jobs than ever before. He points to its achievements in promoting peace, democracy and human rights.

“Twenty-five years ago some of our closest partners were still communist dictatorships within the Soviet Union. We were fearful of the future and spending a fortune on defending ourselves from a real threat of attack. The contrast with today could hardly be greater.”

The MEP claimed that few people can name more than one or two EU rules that they would like to have repealed. Rules and regulations have improved our environment and made life better and safer for the majority.

He said: “There are many things I want to change, but that’s true of rules made in London as well as those from Brussels.

“I want the EU to be a stronger force for good on the world stage. The challenge for the future is to maintain our influence in a world with power moving towards China and many other fast-developing countries.”

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