The Director of the Centre for European Studies, Dr Amelia Hadfield, made an appearance on BBC Radio Kent over the weekend as part of a call-in discussion on Britain’s future in Europe.
Dr Hadfield conversed with Professor Tim Luckhurst, who was standing in for Lembit Opik, the programme’s regular host, and members of the public on Britain’s relationship with Europe and the current challenges facing the European Union. With the majority of callers were sceptical about Britain’s relationship with Europe, Dr Hadfield sought to balance the debate, pointing out that both Britain and Europe would be worse off should a Brexit occur.
Whilst she admitted she shared the frustrations of many callers about the challenges to economic growth in Europe, she argued dealing with these challenges requires a collective European effort, with “Britain as a really strong part of that agenda”. The United Kingdom, Dr Hadfield noted, “has been a fundamental part of the European Union” since the beginning, and would risk losing its long-standing influence if it left the club of European nations. In conclusion, she stressed the impact the EU had on the local community, citing the examples of EU funding and exchange-visits, as well as the broader benefits of security and prosperity achieved through integration.