Image by Wolfgang Timmans (http://tillmans.co.uk/)
So after weeks of the campaigns I am going to the polls tomorrow and I will vote REMAIN.
I am unconvinced by the arguments of Brexit that suggest leaving is sufficient to stem migrancy. I am certain that the legal disentanglement from Europe will take decades and will leave us poorer. We will still be paying money to enter into the market-place to trade and then we will have no say in what happens there. I am not convinced that being British and standing alone is helpful for us. Isolation is not a great strategy.
I am certainly not on the side of Johnson, Gove, Duncan-Smith and especially Farage. I am hoping that a Remain vote will curtail Farage’s voice. I can’t imagine what future will look like in Britain if we leave as he will grow in importance in our politics. I think there is truth in the saying that the way immigrants are treated is how government would treat everyone if they could get away with it. I don’t want that future.
Instead I will vote along with the hundreds of historians, hundreds of economists and the vast group of people who want to be associated with the European project. It is not perfect but has brought peace and prosperity to a continent broken after two World Wars and thousands of years of feuding and strife. There has never been anything like the European Union. I value standing in solidarity with others than being in isolation. Being a part of the EU is good for all the other members, not just for us. It costs us peanuts compared to our ongoing costs for health, welfare and defense and arguably has lowered our defence budget much more than the millions we send each week.
Having live outside of the UK for 10 years I have seen much of Europe. I have visited the EU buildings, interacted with MEP’s and many of the people who work there. I have seen first hand the changes in many parts of Europe that membership has made to the many regions that have been poor and underdeveloped. I have seen the pride and engagement of many Eastern Europeans who have a future of safety and freedom from oppression in the EU. Many of these nations were under Soviet control as I grew up.
In sight of the EU parliament building in Brussels there is a small sliver of graffiti covered Berlin wall; standing next to it I feel relieved and thrilled that it no longer exists and the threat it implied of war and the symbol of division it embodied is no more.
I am proud of my Nobel Peace prize that I share with all European Union citizens. I don’t want to let my share slip from my hands.
Vote REMAIN with me tomorrow.