Well the General Election over, at least there is no more second guessing what the outcome might be and what that means for a pro-EU campaign in the UK.
The EU leaders that were previously hoping the problem would go away are now asking what can be done to address the UK’s concerns. That isn’t surprising as many of them are having to deal with the same concerns.
What ever happens during the discussions and negotiations a pro-EU campaign will be needed, not just to make sure that there is a pro-EU result to the referendum but also to shift the UK’s inherent scepticism about the EU.
That will not be an easy thing to do, nobody should underestimate the effort required. But the prize is worth the effort.
The pro-EU campaign will be based on the people, the voters, the decision makers, so that the politicians are left in no doubt about the wish of UK citizens to be part of the EU.
The campaign will need people like us to “move and shake” the views and opinions. It will need to happen outside of party political affiliations and beliefs, being for or against the EU is not a party political issue except for a few.
I’m so worried that we are going to be dragged out of the EU. I effectively grew up with it. As a young student, EU financed programmes enabled me to work in Germany on 2 occasions. As an English language teacher now, Comenius funds enable EU teachers to come here and take courses at our colleges. The EU has facilitated travel across the Continent for us and EU money has done much for our country, not least the Southwest where I live. All of this against a background of media vitriol. Whenever I have been abroad I have felt that people want the UK to be properly connected too Europe like the rest of the Continent. I have never understood the ‘island mentality’ – Ireland doesn’t seem to suffer from it! I have also never understood why EU membership is seen as somehow being ‘unpatriotic’. Surely the two things are complementary? Surely our natural place in the world is within a great continent with its great culture and the contributions it has made to the world. I always have been and will always be proud to call myself European!