Terrified of Blighty…

Someone said to me yesterday that they’re 60% or 70% in.  And whilst that’s good, and means another vote to remain, I couldn’t help but think “I’m so much more than that, possibly even 100%”.  I don’t think think the EU is perfect, far from it.  It needs lots of work but I believe the effort is worth it and there are a few basic reasons for why.

I believe democracy is flawed.  I don’t necessarily have a better system (proportional representation possibly?) and I definitely agree that EU politicians are out of touch, but so are ours!  Having multiple checks and balances through multiple layers of voted, or not (House of Lords anyone?) representatives seems a fairly sensible structure to me.  It may add some bureaucracy, and we should do more to reduce this, but if it avoids crazy decisions being made by partisan leaders of various political parties then I’m ok with that.  The current alternative would give me a choice of two, either David Cameron or Jeremy Corbyn and tbh that feels like a pretty shitty choice to me.  Ok, once in a while (generation?) you get an Obama, but we didn’t get him and I’m struggling to think of a single elected UK political leader I would hold in the same regard, or even trust to look after my kids!

I find territorial borders fairly absurd.  These are basically lines drawn on a map by some dude (probably some army general or king) based on the last armed conflict between some dynasty, empire or kingdom.  I don’t feel any more affinity with someone who lives 500 or 600 miles away in the north of England or Scotland than I do with someone from Brussels, Berlin or Bucharest just because there’s a line on a map.  I base my opinions on whether you’re a dick or not and unfortunately, there are just as many here as there are in any other country.  Something this referendum campaign has demonstrated in spades.

As such, I fail to be concerned about immigration.  The statistics show that they make a positive contribution to our economy (put more in than they take out) and I believe that having such a dynamic workforce able to adapt to the ever changing world has been a big lever in why our economy has been so strong over the last 20 or 30 years. In fact, I would argue that it’s precisely the openness, tolerant and inclusive nature of our society and culture that makes our country great.  Of course integration should be encouraged, though let’s be frank, this is not something us brits are renowned for as we travel around the world so let’s not preach too loudly.  What I do find disturbing however, is how confused people seem to be between immigration and the current refugee crisis which is a human tragedy and nothing at all to do with our position in the EU.

The economy.  It stuns me that so many people seem willing to ignore not only an overwhelming tsunami of expert opinion but also basic logic.  Of course, staying in Europe is positive.  Trade deals don’t come without conditions, businesses want to operate in bigger markets and it’s not simply a ‘big business’ or elite problem.  I have no doubt that if we leave, less money and investment will come into the country. Multi-national corporations will look to place their European headquarters elsewhere and there will be less cash to work its way through all the supporting infrastructure and services upon which a whole economy is built.  Btw, the business I run, which is based on the advertising market, is predicting revenues to nose-dive should the worst happen tomorrow.

So that’s it, I want to be part of the club.  I want Britain to take a leading role at the head of the EU and continue to work collaboratively with our allies and partners making a positive contribution and improving the EU for all its citizens.  I want our economy to continue to grow and for my kids to have the same opportunities that I’ve had.  I just really really hope that enough people agree with me.