Opinion: What has the EU ever done for us?

  • A map showing where on Oxford Road has benefited from EU funding
  • Young people are likely to be among most affected by Brexit

Apart from investment in: farming, research, arts and culture, young people, growth and jobs and health care, what have the EU ever done for us?!

The EU haven’t given us an aqueduct per se, but the comparisons between The People’s Front of Judea’s action meeting about their hated yet constructive Roman rulers in that famous Monty Python scene and the attitudes towards those in Brussels are quite comically apparent. 

When you cast your mind back to the build-up to 2016’s now infamous Brexit referendum, there was very little mention of the benefits we, as a nation, consumed courtesy of the European Union. 

In actual fact, most of us will come into contact or at least walk past the influence of the EU every day. A simple internet search can inform anyone about the huge amount investment that Europe has ploughed into our country and how many of us make use said investment frequently. 

The above map displays where, how much and for what reason EU money has been spent along Oxford Road, based on information gathered from The total amount of EU money that has been received from the EU in this tiny section of Manchester, let alone the rest of the UK, equates to over £7.6M.

Older generations may believe that the EU has taken from their fathers, and their fathers’ fathers, but a close inspection of the map will tell you that the majority of the spending being received, in this area particularly, has been funnelled into projects aimed at helping and providing opportunities for young people. 

The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is one of the beneficiaries of EU funding on Oxford Road

Given there are two universities, a college and a school along the route this is hardly surprising and perhaps not a fair reflection on the spread of EU funding to the UK as a whole, but there has been much debate since the referendum about young people being the ones who will bear the brunt of the impacts of Brexit and this data aligns with that. 

As well as young people, the money has also been spent on research, healthcare and arts and culture.

Royal Northern College or Music
Royal Northern College of Music is one of the beneficiaries of EU funding on Oxford Road

With yesterday’s historic defeat of Theresa May’s exit deal in the House of Commons, coupled with Jeremy Corbyn’s subsequent call for a vote of no confidence in her government the future is now more uncertain than ever. 

If the UK do indeed leave the EU, be it with a deal, no deal or with a new Prime Minister, the worrying question, especially for young people, will surely be concerning their future prospects and prosperity and where the money will come from to replace the EU’s.