I saw this video of Gordon Brown discussing the EU and how we should #LeadnotLeave, then it got me thinking.
As somebody who has visited and spoken to survivors of both world wars, have seen and heard of the horrors of WW1 and WW2 from my time at school. Though I add nothing can compare to the reality, although I was still deeply moved and humbled by the conversations I had and the stories I was told. Why walk away from the best peace project Europe has seen?
Yes there are problems with the EU, democracy, accountability, the issues surrounding the monetary union and the consequences for the Greeks, the Cypriots and the Irish for that matter. Then there is the fact that there has not been a world war, disagreements have fallen to MEP’s and the leaders of the 28 members nations to resolve. There has also been great steps taken over universal freedoms both enshrined by the Council of Europe and required by the Union for membership, then there is the worker and environmental protections.
An important intervention though, regardless of the outcome of the referendum on the 23rd of June, I am not saying nor expecting that the world would collapse in on itself, or that sharks with lazer beams will eat a million people if the UK left the EU.
That would be fantasy, fear baiting and wrong, however why would we walk away from the best peace project Europe has seen. A project that does not always get it right but that can with us on board keep on doing what it does do right, discussing and debating where it is wrong. Yes the European Union has a problem, but leaving it wont fix the problem(s). Shouting from the sidelines as we sometimes do, also wont fix these problems. At the end of the day nothing but good stewardship at home and abroad will solve our problems. What with many of the problems that people find with the EU being problems of our own making. In fact some of these problems can be fixed by us too if we wanted to fix then. A prime example is over Steele, the UK government blocked the tariffs on Steel imports, meaning that Tata Steele found it very difficult to operate.
Europe despite claims otherwise, is not all take and no give, there are many many reasons to be in not out, while there are many reasons to be out not in ( but not quite as many and not quite as big – in my opinion). One great and possibly my biggest reasons for staying IN is the added environmental protections, regulations and clout we have in negotiations as a member of the EU. While I add the caveat that the EU is not doing enough, the UK is also not doing enough and even with all the will in the world Britain in the EU has a bigger bat in which to play with than a maze of diplomacy that Britain would have to go through just to get the EU to listen; then after the EU, Britain would have to get the rest of the world to listen too. Not impossible but a damn site harder!
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