Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The UK EU referendum

The UK goes to the polls tomorrow to decide if we want to remain in the EU or leave, I’ve lived in and outside the EU and I know where I'd rather be.

Living outside the EU meant I've dealt with a multitude of pointless border checks, unnecessary suspicion, baggage searches, bribery and corruption not to mention expensive visa’s and intransigent bureaucracy.

When I think of the EU I tend think of a wonderful wider European continent and not abroad but as an extension of where I was born, so it’ll come as no surprise then if I say I’m not entirely stoked by the idea leaving.

Building barriers, walls or deeper moats goes against my sense of problem solving, we don't need to build the wall higher, we need to solve the root cause of the problem if indeed there is one.  If history has taught us anything it’s nothing ever good comes from a wall.

I want my children to grow up in a multi-cultural society and to have a multi-cultural perspective, I want them to be bi-lingual or tri-lingual, enjoy tapas, bratwurst and smoked carp, have international friends and partners, know how to cook a globe artichoke, to study at one of the universities dotted throughout Europe, get a job in one country after another, travel and work freely across an expanding European Union and not sit at home, blinkered, blaming anything they consider to be different for all the problems in their world. 

The more we are exposed to a new things the sooner it becomes accepted and not different, like garlic, remember when garlic was an exotic thing?

It makes little difference to me if legislation is delivered from Brussels or Whitehall, most of us are about as detached from the process of running a country as is practicably possible.  We all like to say how we’d run the country safe in the knowledge that we don’t and there will never be any consequences to our ideas however sound or crack pot they may be because we are not running the country.

It’s the same way we like to be armchair football managers and proclaim how a diamond or 4,4,2 would resolve the perpetual problem on the left but we’ll never know because we are not actually football managers.

The EU is not evil, it’s not full of people trying to think up new ways to specifically target Britain with burdensome bureaucracy, it has achieved a lot of good and will continue to do so with or without Britland.

It is, however, a bit of a basket case and long overdue an overhaul, reboot or reset, but surely it’s better to be in inside the tent pissing out rather than outside the tent.

It's probably too late in the day to ask not what the EU can do for me, but what can I do for the EU, but it's possibly the question we should have been asking all along.

Vive la Europe.