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Opinion & Analysis

A once in a lifetime vote

Image Courtesy Of Gibraltar Chronicle

by Aaron Santos

aaron santosThis is the first time that I write an article of this sort and it is the importance of remaining in the European Union (EU) that has motivated me to do so. With university life shortly approaching, I am wondering to myself, will I have as many opportunities if there were a vote to leave the EU?

The EU not only provides the United Kingdom and Gibraltar with jobs and a stronger economy which is  by no means diminutive, but it also provides Gibraltarians with a wide range of opportunities. As members of the European Union, Gibraltar students pay the same university tuition fees as UK students and do not pay overseas rates, we have the chance to go on Erasmus years to other universities in the European Union and our mobile phone roaming charges are kept as low as possible.

Freedom of movement is a right which is guaranteed to all EU citizens and that allows us to travel around Europe and experience the different customs and learn about the  cultures of the 28 countries which comprise the EU. Would we be able to do this with such ease if we were not members of the EU?

Thanks to the European Union, we have access to the world's largest single market, we are able to enjoy free movement, we have benefited from 60 million Euros in EU funding for private and public sector projects, we have access to Europol and the ability to arrest someone on a European Arrest Warrant, we have a valid EU identity card for EU travel and have access to free emergency medical care within the European Union.  Are we really prepared to give all of these benefits away? Would our quality of life be the same?

Therefore, I believe that on the 23rd June 2016, Gibraltar must go out and vote in force. We must show the world that we want to REMAIN a member of the European Union as we will be Safer, Stronger and Better off in the EU. This is not a European Election. We are not electing an MEP. We are not electing a Government, we are deciding our future. Don't miss out. Every vote counts!

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