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Eight reasons why I’m voting Remain tomorrow

June 22, 2016

Like many people, I’ve found the debate on tomorrow’s EU referendum to have been surprisingly emotional: mostly rage, fear and exasperation to be honest. While I don’t usually expound on political issues, I’ve dusted off this blog to simply get my thoughts off my chest.

So here are eight reasons why I’ll be voting Remain tomorrow:

1. The economic argument for Leave is a colossal gamble. We all enjoy a flutter now and again, but in this case the risks will be disproportionately borne by those who are too young to vote compared to those who can. Does that seem fair?

2. Historically, isolationism is always a failure – at some point the world forces you to work with others. Britain has never instinctively been isolationist. When Churchill argued for European integration in 1946, he only saw Britain outside of it because of its empire. And I hope we’re not going to try and restore that.

3. I studied politics for four years at university, and sovereignty seldom ever came up. That’s because it’s a fairly irrelevant idea beyond defining a nation state. Being able to make decisions does not necessarily give you the power to deliver them.

4. In terms of my collective identity I feel ‘English’ first and ‘European’ second. ‘British’ is a trailing and increasingly meaningless abstraction somewhere behind ‘resident of a cul de sac’. The EU flag has more positive connotations for me than the union flag.

5. My wife lives here as an EU citizen. I’ve not heard a single suggestion from Leave as to whether she’d be permitted to stay post-Brexit. This should give anyone with family, friends or co-workers from the EU serious cause for concern.

6. EU member states don’t start wars with each other. It’s easy to dismiss centuries of European warfare as a thing of the past, but there’s no logical reason to suppose that what happened 70 or 100 years ago couldn’t be repeated in another 70 or 100 years time. Peaceful progress is not an historical certainty.

7. There’s a lot to be said for taking the path of least resistance. Quitting the EU will be an enormous legislative and procedural hassle. Why create a crisis when we have enough existing ones to deal with?

8. The referendum is no longer just about EU membership. A vote for Leave will become a vote for post-truth politics and the mainstreaming of racist discourse. Even if you reject those ideas yourself, by voting leave you will be providing support to those who have been trading on this throughout the campaign.

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