Yes yes yes to Europe

Union_Jack_and_the_european_flagWe are a small business that strongly advocates remaining in Europe. We keep hearing that the world of business is divided – this may be the case. We have never been asked and it is hard to find places to log our position. There are lots of reasons why we should stay in and we can think of many why we should leave. Here we highlight a couple relevant to us as a small arts business based in England’s North West.

We have done a lot of work with young people over the past few years. We have supported them through somewhereto_ and through Plugged In. We have employed a lot of young people in their first proper job after leaving university and have relished their ideas, enthusiasm and positivity. We hear that, on the whole, young people want to stay in Europe whilst the fans of Brexit tend to be older. We believe that the instinct to be world citizens, to travel to share and to learn from others is the best for Britain and that sitting on our little island with our arms crossed thinking we know best is a stubborn road to decline.

One of the accusations thrown at the EU is the unreasonable amount or red tape and regulations that are imposed on businesses. I struggle to think of any EU regulation that has held us back. If we abandoned all the EU rules, we would still need regulations – would they be very different from those we are already subject to?

The North West, in fact most areas outside of the South East , have benefited from European funding, admittedly the distribution of EU funding could be a lot more efficient and less bureaucratic but it has been an effective method of re-distributing funds from the South East to the rest of the UK. The track record of Arts Council England in the fair distribution of resources, is just one example of why a London centric national purse cannot be trusted to ensure those north of Watford will get their fair share of investment

Culturapedia has worked with a lot of European partners, just last week we co-hosted artists from all over Europe talking about shared issues of the arts in rural areas. If we left this would not happen. We have brought performers from across the EU to tour with Spot On. If we left this would not be impossible but it would certainly be more difficult. Our audiences would be the losers. The same would be true for British artists wanting to tour abroad.

I am writing this from the heart of Rotterdam where I am doing an MA in Cultural economics. I am an international student benefiting, as an EU citizen, from access to a world class university. The Netherlands is a prosperous and happy place,  I am on an international course. I have talked to my fellow students about Brexit,. They don’t really comprehend or even believe that it is happening. If anything they shy away from the subject like you would when having a discussion about an embarrassing relative. They want us to stay but at the same time are frustrated about the time wasting fuss we’re making. They don’t believe we will vote to leave. Culturapedia sincerely hopes they are right.