John Silva John Silva Author
Title: Europe - The campaign for "remain" facing the deadlock on immigration
Author: John Silva
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On the eve of the referendum on Brexit, the campaign in favor of maintaining the UK in the European Union is trying laboriously to overcome...
On the eve of the referendum on Brexit, the campaign in favor of maintaining the UK in the European Union is trying laboriously to overcome the thorny issue of immigration.
Winning the Premier League to the nose and the beard of the championship top names is not the only peculiarity of Leicester. This city of the East Midlands is also illustrated by the resolutely pro-European position of his political staff: its majority Labour council has widely favored a continuation of the UK in the European Union (EU) and his two deputies, from the same party.

Despite such support, the activists of "Bremain" (a contraction of "Britain" and "remain" remain, like the "Brexit") struggling to convince potential voters loitering in the city center at the time of lunch. The argument of the economic interest of the United Kingdom to remain in the EU pales face the fear of uncontrolled immigration perceived in a city where half the population is derived.

Few people seem to fully understand the functioning of EU institutions. Most know the name of those who represent them in the European Parliament. The frustration with regard to this little-known European entity is palpable. As the anxiety of what comes, whatever the outcome of Thursday's referendum.

Lasting wounds

One of the four MEPs for the region, Glennis Willmott, is nevertheless nothing less than the leader of the British Labour Group in Brussels. France 24 met him under the eye of the statue of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who founded in the thirteenth century the first Parliament of England. It is considered by some, especially here, as the father of Western democracy.

"What we are doing, and what the EU mean for the people, can be extremely difficult to explain," she admits, however, lambasting a campaign of "leave" that seeks only "divide" by placing immigration in the heart of the debate. In the image of the poster campaign, unveiled last week by the head of the British eurosceptic Nigel Farage (UKIP), which created controversy. "Breaking Point", warned the poster that displays a queue of refugees at the border with Croatia.

"Disgusting," spits Willmott. "The migration obsession with the campaign 'Leave', and this appears particularly sustained fragmented society. Whatever the outcome, Thursday, many people will be angry. Heal these wounds will be difficult." Evidenced by the recent murder of a man suspected of neo-Nazi sympathies, Jo Cox, a pro-EU member. "Something none of us would have thought possible."

For the common good

MEP has at heart to show that the EU institutions seek the common good, taking as an example the European directive on working time, which guaranteed for the first time in 2003 paid leave for all workers states -members. Or the laws requiring pharmaceutical companies to publish results of their clinical trials, even those that failed. "We, the members, are always seeking more transparency. We create the conditions for a better life."


"I know that people do not trust the European Commission nor the Parliament, and they think that Brussels is overrun by lobbyists. But this is the case for any democracy. The EU does is not perfect but we can not be reformed if we are not, "argues MEP.

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