Britain in the EU and the importance for development

I, and my peers signing the letter, believe that for UK development agencies, the EU membership is essential to tackling global problems.

By Professor David Hulme, Executive Director of the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester and President of the Development Studies Association.

In February, I added my name to letter calling for the UK to remain in the EU. You can read the letter, signed by leading development experts, in The Guardian newspaper.

I, and my peers signing the letter, believe that for UK development agencies, the EU membership is essential to tackling global problems.

We know that the UK is global leader in development and leaving Europe would set us back as well as diminish our ability to influence European responses to development. Being part of Europe is a practical way to extend our influence and tackle global problems and so EU membership is vital to the UK’s ability to tackle global challenges, specifically cooperation within the EU will be essential to tackling the humanitarian emergency in Syria, the migration crisis, and the wider issues of peace, security and development in the Middle East and north Africa.

Simon Maxwell, the former director of the Overseas Development Institute who helped to organise the letter, said: “The signatories to this letter represent the UK’s global leadership in international development. As practitioners and advocates in international development, our strongly held view is that the EU needs UK heft and engagement to achieve its global goals — and that the UK multiplies its impact when it works with and through the European Union.

“We now urge the huge numbers of people who support development work in the UK, locally and nationally, to give the EU’s role in international development the profile it needs as we campaign to remain in the EU.”

This article originally appeared on the development@manchester blog on 1 March 2016

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