By Lesley Jones a member of one of the SY2E – Remain in the Eu groups.
Apart from my own situation as a UK immigrant in France – a newbie really (4 years next month, with, luckily, a vote) – I am really worried about the possibility of an exit from the EU on many,many fronts.
The Brexiters want to go back to a Utopia they seem to think existed way back in the past but the world has moved on. A very long way. We are now part of a community that obviously has it’s faults as we all know – but so do most if not all large organisations.
I remember the more recent Utopia they want to return to – power strikes. Postal strikes. The three day week with us working the remaining two by candlelight. A failing economy. The narrow world we lived in. Now that is not to say that we would go back to all that but ……….it’s back to the no one knows scenario. And before that? Commonwealth? Empire? Imperial past? Well…..times have moved on even further. It worries me that the Brexit propaganda is so strong that even younger people – who have no memory of the above, seem to have become caught up in the idea that those were great times with no problems – financial or otherwise.
Now I am not very up on the trade figures and the technical stuff but I do appreciate the ease of travel, the ability for my children to study abroad if they so wish, to move and work abroad if they so wish, to set up in business abroad if they so wish, the diversity of the world we live in as a result of Europe having become much smaller since we joined the European community.
I appreciate the things the EU has done for us – environment, employment improvements, safety guidelines. The list is endless.
I don’t agree that we are ruled by an unelected body. At the end of the day MEPs are elected by us – either by vote or, usually and sadly, by not voting. But that is our choice. Apathy is the criticism, not the EU. I don’t agree that we have no say – if our MEPs are not effective that is again down to our choice of MEP – not the fault of the EU.
And at the end of the day we are only a small island 20 miles off the coast of Europe – much as a Greek island is in the Med. So why pretend we are any different?
I worry that this is a one off opportunity with no going back, despite what the Brexiters would like to think. There will be no chance to change our mind and be accepted back if it all goes wrong. I worry that they are basing their decisions on spin, inaccuracies and misunderstanding. I worry that their vision of post EU is vague, hopeful, wishful thinking. I have been horrified at the level of previously closet racism that that has been unleashed in recent weeks. We know what staying in looks like. And by being in we have the ability to shape the future, We will remain part of a strong, influential trading community with many other benefits alongside trade. Do we really want to be sat on the outside looking in in these vastly changed times? I certainly don’t. The uncertain alternative is way too risky.
In summary, the world has moved on over the last 40 odd years and we need to keep up….not look backwards.