Why I am voting to Remain in the EU on Thursday

Vote Remain

I will be voting Remain tomorrow. This is why. 

I love being part of the EU and our lives have been enriched by being part of it. I like having people from all over the EU coming to live in the UK.  I like the cultural diversity. I like the collaboration with scientists.  I like working with businessmen from all over the EU.  I like the feeling of being part of a  European family of shared values of democracy, law and freedom of speech. I like hearing sounds of different languages being spoken when I am out and about in London.  I like the fact that former enemies are now our friends. 

Conversely, the reasons for leaving are poor. 

Immigration is a nonsense issue. A net 188,000 people come from outside the EU so if this were a major problem we could do something about it. Reality is that our country needs the net income they bring and the work they do in propping up the economy eg NHS and housing sector. After 43 years of EU membership only 5% of our population comes from other EU countries.

Sovereignty is a nonsense issue. We are a sovereign nation, as are all other EU countries. We chose to pool some rights with others because it makes us stronger.

Control is a nonsense issue. We are, with France and Germany, the dominant players in the EU and very little happens without our agreement. All those pesky rules are needed to keep free trade going. If we were playing football and someone picked up the ball and ran with it it we would consider it cheating (and eventually call it Rugby). EU rules are similar.

Thinking we will trade more outside the EU is nonsense. Most of our exports go to the 28 countries of the EU. We then have trade agreements with 60 countries that are tied agreements negotiated with the EU. If we left we would have to recreate 60 new trade deals with non EU countries and a new agreement with 28 EU countries. That could take decades to complete and instead of being part of a block of 500m people we would be 66m people. Our negotiation position would be far weaker than if part of the EU.

Cameron was a fool to gamble with the Scottish referendum and the EU referendum was a ploy to keep UKIP and rebel Conservatives at bay during the last election. He chose party political considerations over the national interest. He was wrong to do this. He has damaged our relationship with Scotland and with the EU.

But just because Cameron was a fool we should not vote to leave as the leave campaign is even more foolish. Boris was pro EU until he calculated that leading the leave campaign could make him the Prime Minister. He is leading a demagogic campaign that is all about harnessing feelings over facts – which is why Gove is so dismissive of ‘the experts.’

The facts support staying in the wonderful EU- an organisation that we should be proud of for all of its achievements in binding former WW2 and Cold War enemies together into a vibrant community.

Please vote remain on Thursday!!!

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