EU ‘sceptics, ‘philes & ‘phobes and what do the Leavers have as an alternative that is BETTER than the EU?

These words have been much used (and misused) when talking about the UK’s membership of the EU.

In particular the word sceptic, is frequently abused and interpreted as anti.

A sceptic is somebody who does not accept things at face value, has an enquiring mind and wishes to understand the facts before making a decision. There is nothing wrong with questioning something, some of the greatest advances have been made by questioning seemingly immutable facts.

A phile in the context of the EU is somebody predisposed towards the EU. But that doesn’t mean EUphiles are blind to the EU’s failings and are unwilling to challenge the status quo. You will find many EUsceptics among the EUphiles.

Phobes, have an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. There are many EUphobes involved in the campaign to get the UK to leave the EU.

It is usually easy to identify the EUphobes: they will chant “Out, Out, Out” at any mention of the EU, they pedantically argue about the difference between the EU and Europe, they “hate” the EU, they won’t engage in the debate about the advantages/disadvantages of EU membership and they refuse to set out their proposals for the UK in the event of a Brexit.

An open debate about the EU and its strengths/weaknesses is to be welcomed, but that is not what is happening at the moment.

We know what we have with the current EU and can assess the impact of that, until the Leavers present us with their alternative view of the UK’s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world we can not assess what the UK will be like if it leaves the EU, much less assess whether a post-BrExit UK is better or worse than the UK’s membership of the EU.

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