What has the European Union ever done for us?

The Stapleford South West by-election was held on Thursday July 14.

The Stapleford South West by-election was held on Thursday July 14.

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Have your say

There are only eight weeks left before the people of the East Midlands take what has been billed as the biggest political decision for a generation.

And in a debate with so many claims and counter claims, it can often be difficult to separate the truth from the spin.

But figures from the government show that between 2007 and 2013, the East Midlands received over £200 million in funding from the European Union.

This money has paid for economic regeneration, digital infrastructure, railway lines, research, development and training, alongside much else.

Of course, you could argue that we should just keep the money we give to Europe and spend it on ourselves, and many do.

But others, such as Diana Meale, who worked at the East Midlands Development Company from 2005 to 2011, disagree and say we get a better deal out of the EU than we would out of central government.

She said: “What is important about the European money is that it allows local areas to put forward their proposals about how the money is spent and what their priorities are.

“It is actually a genuinely decentralised system of funding and that is particularly important in the East Midlands as we don’t yet have a devolution deal.”

What do you think?

Is our region better off maintaining our relationship with the EU despite its well documented flaws?

Or would we be better cutting off our ties with the continent and arguing our case instead with Westminster and Whitehall?

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