Positives of EU membership must be carefully considered against the negatives of some bureaucracy
In seeking a fresh mandate from the Northern Ireland electorate for a seat in the European Parliament, I firmly pledge to represent all of the people of this region of the United Kingdom.
Over the 25 years of my terms as a parliamentarian in Brussels and Strasbourg, the pursuit of the political, social and economic needs of my constituents has been paramount.
If re-elected, my primary focus will again be in securing the best deal for all the people in this western corner of Europe.
The coming years will be about redefining our relationship with the European Union. I am not for taking the UK out of the European Union without knowing the full implications of withdrawal.
The positives of EU membership must be carefully considered against the negatives in the bureaucracy and intrusiveness of some European Law.
This is why I am advocating the 'three Rs' on Europe.
- A review to assess the nature of the UK's relationship within the EU.
- A renegotiation to improve the terms of UK membership.
- And then a progression to a referendum to either decide to remain in the EU or exit.
I am a unionist who has always done what's right for Northern Ireland and I would appeal to all those who wish to maintain our link with the UK, for economic, social and cultural reasons, to give me their support in the election on May 22.
It is vitally important for people to get out and vote. If elected again, I will continue to serve all of the people of Northern Ireland, irrespective of political, religious and social background.
A first preference vote for me is a voice for a common sense approach to Europe and a voice of reason representing Northern Ireland.
As long as the UK is part of the EU, I will be using my parliamentary experience, contacts and influence to again maximise what Northern Ireland gets out of the EU.
Jim Nicholson is a member of the European Parliament for the Ulster Unionist Party
Belfast Telegraph Digital