Monday, 20 June 2016
EU Referendum – why I am voting for Europe
On Tuesday we will be back in London after three weeks in the Loire. Back in time to vote in the UK's EU Referendum on Thursday, which is the most important vote in my lifetime. Having always been Pro-Europe I will certainly be voting to Remain. I hold a British passport but I consider myself to be European, so it makes no sense to me to turn our back on Europe – its culture, the UK's major trading partner and the European Union.
Britexiters claim that leaving the EU will give us our country back. It will do no such thing. The UK has already negotiated exceptions, such as to stay out of the Euro and the Schengen Agreement. There are claims that we will thrive outside the EU perhaps with a free trade agreement with the Commonwealth countries.
This is surely fantasy! Far better to be together with our major market with a voice rather to run away and hope for the best. A free trade agreement with the Commonwealth harks back to the time of the British Empire at the end of the 19th Century. The Asia Pacific region, for instance, is the closest and most enticing market for Australia and New Zealand not the UK.
Curiously and sadly a number of the English regions that are predicted to vote leave are the very same that have benefited from European Union aid to depressed areas.
Voting to leave the EU on Thursday will hand control of the UK to people like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage. Johnson famously could have gone either way on Europe and is widely seen as only campaigning for exit because he sees this as his chance to become Prime Minister. Furthermore he has cheerfully admitted that when based in Brussels as a reporter he invented new stories about European legislation – shapes of bananas etc.
“People in this country have had enough of experts,” according to Michael Gove. Fair enough, perhaps, from a member of the public but a truly extraordinary statement from the current Minister of State for Justice. How does UK case law function if it isn't the distillation of legal decisions by legal experts – judges – over many years? Furthermore Gove was previously Minister of Education, somewhat of a worry if the education of our children is in the hands of someone who mistrusts expertise!
UKIP and Nigel Farage playing the race card – poster launched
the day that MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered
Echoes of Nazi propaganda
And the vile Farage – head of UKIP ? Ever ready to play the race card as the UKIP poster shows. Farage launched this poster that shows migrants moving into Slovenia playing on the fears of uncontrolled immigration into the UK just hours before the MP Jo Cox was murdered. The man charged with her murder gave his name in court as "My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain."
Clearly Farage didn't order the killing of the MP but he and his party created the mood music – you reap what you sow!
Rather belatedly Gove admitted on Sunday that he 'shuddered' when he saw the UKIP poster.
After a surge by the leave campaign, the latest opinion polls show a move back to Remain. Let's hope Remain carries the day on Thursday. It will be tight!