Siobhain has made her case for the UK staying in the EU during a debate hosted by the Daily Express.
Speaking on a panel with Chuka Umunna and Richard Reed, the founder of Innocent Smoothies, she demonstrated how the UK's economic security and law and order would be adversely affected by leaving the EU.
You can read about the debate here
, or watch the debate below. You can also read about the EU's contribution to the UK below.
PENSIONS & OVER 50s EXPATS
• Increased inflation as a result of Brexit would erode the value of the state pension, costing recipients about £137 a year in real terms by 2017-18 (HM Treasury, ‘Effects on pensioners from leaving the EU’)
• A private pension pot worth £60,000 would see its value drop by £1,900 (HM Treasury figures)
• An individual over 50 with pension savings of £20,000, who is contributing 8% of their earnings into a pension fund between now and 2030, would be between £223 and £335 a year worse off in retirement
• Situation for expat pensioners even worse. Today, anyone who retires within the European Economic Area has their pensions increased every year under the ‘triple lock’. But Brexit would mean that the UK would have to negotiate agreements with each EU country (for instance, state pensions for expats in Canada, Australia and New Zealand are already frozen)
TERRORISM, LAW & ORDER
• European Arrest Warrant meant that over 1,100 suspected criminals have been arrested across the EU and returned to the UK to face justice. Since 2010, UK has sent 7,400 suspected criminals in the UK back to the EU, because of the EAW
• Brexit and Calais / Dover border (Touquet agreement) – the Calais ‘Jungle’ is home to 3,500 refugees and migrants, who may be on UK soil in event of Brexit
• We are safe and protected in EU. The UK is not part of the Schengen area like the rest of the EU, and it cannot be forced to join. Since 2010, almost 100,000 people have been refused entry to UK (as they were checked against security and immigration watch lists). A quarter of these were stopped at UK border in France
ECONOMY & EMPLOYMENT
• Estimated that by staying in EU, UK can gain £60bn and additional 800,000 jobs by 2030
• 3m UK jobs are linked to UK trade with EU (especially manufacturing & farming)
• Just 1% of government spending goes on EU
• 89% of businesses back staying in EU– and 61% of small business exports go to the EU
NHS & SCIENCE
• 100,000 EU citizens work in our NHS – as nurses, midwives and carers, some of the most undervalued and underpaid jobs.
•10,000 hospital doctors (9% of doctors) come from EU countries
•British science gets £3.2m each day in EU funding, much of which is used to fight Parkinsons, Alzheimers and breast cancer
FOOD & HOUSE PRICES, & MORTGAGES
• Being in EU means cheaper weekly shop. On average, UK family saves £350 a year because of negotiated trade agreements
• EU membership means cheaper holidays. Price of flights has come down 40% because budget airlines like Easyjet allowed to expand
•Brexit could mean plummeting house prices (falling between 10-18% in just two years post-Brexit) and soaring mortgage rates, potentially an all-out housing market crisis