Should We Stay Or Should We Go, Now?

Brexit. It sounds like some kind of health biscuit, don’t you think? You know, the kind that is advertised as something balanced, nutritious and good for you, but is really just a load of junk.

Fake breakfast food aside, the only way to talk about the impending referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union is to present my bias from the get-go: I am a British Ex-pat living and working in an EU country and can do so easily and comfortably thanks to the existence of the European Union and Britain’s membership in it. Naturally, the idea of that becoming more complex is something I don’t relish.

From a completely selfish stand point, I am right behind the Remain Campaign. I am not, however, behind it because I think the EU is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s just that I think in is better than out. I could write along list about the aspects of the EU that frustrate and bewilder me, but, and it is a huge but, I believe we should stay. So here’s that list instead:

  1. Europe is a varied, dynamic, interesting, culturally rich and, for the most part, economically stable part of the world. Why on Earth would you not want to be part of that?
  2. The European Union might be full of red tape and wasteful bureaucracy but from inside, you have a voice. The 20 km of the English channel will feel an awful lot wider if we’re not invited to the parties across the pond anymore.
  3. We are making a decision in the dark, egged on by a carrot and stick politics of unsubstantiated promises and fear mongering. It’s like everyone forgot that the UK is a teeny-tiny island that no one, no one will pay any attention to if we abandon ship.
  4.  The way people talk, it’s as if they see the EU and the UK as two separate entities. It’s not like it’s a gym membership we took out and are having trouble cancelling. We use the treadmills. We are invited to the classes. We take part in the decision making. Europe doesn’t own us. We are a part of it.
  5. I don’t think we really know what we’re voting for. Until I know the grass really is greener on the other side, I’d rather keep watering the side I can see. Maybe, maybeleaving might one day be the right thing and in which case we can reassess. Make the decision to leave now and there’s no going back for a very long while.
  6. Finally, through my idealistic, very possibly rose tinted glasses, I want to live in a world where countries want to be united. I want to be part of system where people seek comfort in the individuals around them regardless of their nationality, and where identity is not the waving of a flag or the singing of an anthem but is defined by the rich experiences of sharing systems with many peoples and living enhanced by the unions we make with those around us.

You know what, there might be a better way to do this than via the European Union. There are certainly many things we should change, but until there is a better alternative, I hope we remain part of the EU and strive for progress, rather than leave and be left out in the cold.

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The EU in action: A leg in each country
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