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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Vote Today - Vote Remain

Now here’s a thing, as Robert Peston might have said: I am one of those people who voted in the last referendum on Britain’s place in Europe. Yes, back in 1975 I voted, and voted Yes to keep Britain in what was then the EEC. That vote was made because I had concluded that, overall, being in the EEC was a beneficial proposition. That view has not changed in the intervening 41 years. Here’s why.
Peace. My paternal grandfather was at the Battle of the Somme, having joined up at the age of only 16 two years earlier. By the time he turned 18, he had seen things that no man should have to see again. Ever. By bringing all those former warring nations together, we make the chance of a recurrence vanishingly small. As Churchill so memorably put it, Jaw-Jaw is better than War-War.

Prosperity. Between the start of the Great War in 1914, and the end of World War 2 in 1945, Britain’s status in the world declined precipitously. Yet many in our governing class were simply in denial about it. It took the Suez débàcle in 1956 to wake politicians to the new reality. Joining with other member states in the EU has helped the UK not only arrest its decline, but make this country better off.

Travel. Those telling us how we could still travel around Europe without being an EU member state may not remember just what an ordeal the crossing of borders was like in what they tell us were The Good Old Days. Having to obtain visas, taking receipts for anything expensive to avoid being hit by customs duties while away, border guards stripping cars to their shells, ah, the fond memories. No thanks.

Work. Nowadays, as Barack Obama once said, yes you can. No need for work permits, no residency requirements, no language discrimination, if you can do the job, you can go there and get on with it - anywhere in any other EU member state.

Language. English has become the de facto first language of the EU. Yes, while Nigel Farage whines about someone talking foreign on the train, remember that English is the most widely spoken language across all those member states, and when information - like signage - is translated into a second language, it’s English. We’ve got the EU speaking our language.

Freedom. No more will we hear Churchill’s grave tone, telling us “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent”. Nor will the Greek Colonels, the Falangists in Spain, and the Estado Novo in Portugal be coming back any time soon. Many of those countries have been welcomed into the EU, their freedom underpinned by their participation in this Union, their people freed from dictatorship, no longer fenced in and treated as so many slaves.

Those are some of the reasons why I still believe that, on balance, the EU is still a beneficial proposition for Britain. And that’s why I am voting Remain today.

I urge everyone who can vote to do so, and to also vote Remain. Thank you for reading this message.

6 comments:

Simon Gee said...

That's exactly how I feel, exactly how I think, and exactly the reasons I shall vote Remain. My parents lived through 2 World Wars, my father was wounded at Salerno, their wish was for unity to remove the madness from Europe so their children would not suffer like they did. We've had peace in my lifetime - no reason to change now when the likes of spivs like Farage, Gove and Johnson are only in it for their own self-aggrandisement.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with all the reasons you post, Tim. All of them are at the least good social democratic virtues. The kind of thing we would never even get near under an unrestrained tory government. The last thirty-odd years have been bad enough, but would have been much, much worse without the best of the European Union.

Yet I vote Remain reluctantly. Basically the reason is the worst of the Union, which is the bankers and their system who control it and profiteer from it. Had we been in the ERM there is little doubt we would have suffered the same inflicted misery as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Do we really need to list the horrors visited on the innocent citizens of those old nations? We can make all the sophist arguments we like but the fact remains that a whole European generation have had their lives destroyed by an iniquitous and corrupt economic system, capitalism.

But leaving the Union only to hand it over to an even worse provably rotten gang of establishment thieves and mass murderers is not a sensible option.

So, painful as it is, I vote Remain to fight for pan-European decency and honesty as best we can. We can't do that on the outside.

Arnold said...

Pavilion Opinions @pavilionopinion
History of Europe:
War
War
War
War
War
War
War
Arguments about bananas.

To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments. #remain
11:14 PM - 29 Apr 2016
7,200 7,200 Retweets 6,759 6,759 likes

Unknown said...

If a UK politician of proper stature had gone to the EU Commission and/or Council saying that because English was an unofficial second language of Europe it was distorting the Single Market and therefore the aims of the EU, we would probably have had a better reception and hammered out a way forward.

Unfortunately, we instead had a selection of politicians who thought they could talk over everyone else just because they'd been in their alma mater's Debating Society.

Bob said...

I was speaking to a Spanish friend yesterday and he gave a warning about Brexit.

When, in an unofficial referendum, Catalunya voted last year to say they wanted independence from Spain. People in the rest of Spain replied voluntarily by boycotting their goods, wine production and manufacturing suffer particularly badly. As a result many companies moved the Head Offices from Barcelona to other cities in the rest of Spain.

My friend said that many people have become fed up with the UK requiring special treatment. If we vote to leave, their frustration will lead to boycotts British goods to demonstrate their dissatisfaction and their governments will be making strong overtures to businesses to move from the UK to mainland Europe, with tasty EU grants available to encourage them.

However I'm sure Boris, Tag and Bobtail have thought that through!!

Anonymous said...

The Unducided will decide the outcome.

My prediction has been around 55-45 "in" from day one. The fact you can now get odds of 10/1 for "out" suggests its not as close as some are hoping.