Every time I try to get something down about why I’m voting to remain in the EU, I reach such a state of anxiety about just where to begin that I can’t type anything. It’s not that there’s a shortage of reasons why #Brexit
would be a bad idea, there are just so many reasons why it’s a bad idea I don’t know which one to start with.
This isn’t just about me, it’s the future of my daughter that’s being threatened and nothing angers me more. European countries fought on and off for 1000 years, culminating in World War II, after which it was decided never again would so many lives be wasted. The eventual establishment of the European Union has resulted in the longest period of peace Europe has enjoyed. If Britain exits the EU, this will hasten the breakup of the entire union. “Good” say a lot of short-sighted people. There aren’t a whole lot of people who actually fought in WWII left nowadays. The oldest generation still with us was raised on tales of derring-do and stories of Britain’s superiority in defeating the Bosch and the Frogs. It’s fostered mistrust of our closest neighbours and mutated into outright racism. But there’s nothing stopping Europe going to war again. The closest thing we have is the Union that exists between us.
Europe is under pressure from refugees fleeing a murderous occupation in Syria, among other countries. Terrorist attacks from those murderous regimes and from the ranks of those enamoured with them WILL continue. Being in or out will have no bearing on those inevitable atrocities. Pulling up the drawbridge, and discriminating against those refugees has only the potential to serve those regimes as they’ll use our behaviour to poison the minds of yet more vulnerable people. I grew up in London in the 80s and the threat of terror related violence was ever-present (and that actually did come from overseas), but it never stopped anybody from getting on with life. Well, if you’re a fan of retro terrorism, one of the joys of Brexit is that it will nullify the Northern Ireland Assembly power-sharing agreement because it was drawn up under EU law. That took nearly a decade to resolve, majorly in secret, first time around.
The seeds of the war in Syria stem from a drought which lasted years. That drought is no doubt the result of man made climate change. Climate change is going to force people movement on a pretty much daily basis from now until forever. Syria is only the most noticeable effect SO FAR. Europe needs to work together to find ways to tackle climate change. It already does this through environmental protection laws which the UK adopts as part of it’s EU commitment. Many on the vote leave side actually cite these laws as a reason to escape the EU. They actually want to flick over the planet and destroy all our children’s futures in order to make the last little bit of money available from fossil fuels, decrying the “bureaucracy” that’s preventing them from doing that. Resources are going to become scarce in some regions. Tensions over access to water and land will result in wars between countries in a divided Europe. Destabilisation of the Union is EXACTLY what Daesh want. It’s also in alignment with what Vladimir Putin wants. Anything that weakens Europe, strengthens them both.
Reading the names of the people campaigning to leave the EU is like reading a list of the world’s biggest arseholes. Nigel Farage, Katy Hopkins, Michael Gove, Toby Young, Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Rupert Murdoch. If you didn’t know what the argument was about, and you waded in on a fight and found yourself on side with these scumbags, you’d surely consider that you might just be on the wrong side of history. Murdoch’s motives have been clearly stated. He gets influence over the UK government and is able to steer policy by using threats powered by his media empire. In Europe he can exert no such influence because he doesn’t have the media coverage to force his warped views on the public. But it’s the politicians there, making great hay of the fact we’ll be able to build an NHS hospital every week if we leave, that are by far the most duplicitous. Setting aside the fact (and it is a fact) that the £350m per week saving they keep talking up, is a flat-out lie, they’ve all expressed views in the past which clearly indicate that in their hands the NHS is very much not safe. Privatisation would be accelerated under a tory government run by that lot.
Which brings me to TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership), the secretly negotiated contract between the EU and the US. It’s being negotiated in secret because when people hear about the contents they tend to get a bit resistant. TTIP would enshrine in law protection for corporations from government legislation. For example, the recent change to force blank cigarette packaging could be challenged by tobacco firms as they will argue it would affect their profits. The decision would be made in a secret court and the corporations would win. This isn’t fantasy, it’s already happened in Australia. TTIP will “lower trade barriers” for US corporations, who will no longer have to conform to stricter EU regulations on pollution and workers rights. It will instigate a race to the bottom for environmental standards. If we leave the EU we’ll be out of the current TTIP negotiations, but you can rest assured that a Tory government has no interest in being excluded. They’ll come to an identical arrangement with the US outside of TTIP. The only reason they exempted the NHS from TTIP was because of public pressure. Within the EU any one nation could veto TTIP, and there are several countries who are feeling the pressure to do so. It seems (touch wood) likely TTIP will get tanked by somebody so staying in the EU is our best opportunity to avoid being bound by it.
A free Tory government could also reduce workers rights. Maternity pay - gone. Sick pay - gone. They can’t do this under harmonised EU law.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly no Cameron fan. This whole government is a travesty. They routinely lie, and bullshit. They literally say one thing whilst doing the opposite AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT because it’s what Murdoch wants. If it’s not in the press agenda it doesn’t get coverage. When the Conservatives inexplicably won the 2015 General Election we seriously considered our options to move abroad, such was the dread of 5 more years of Tory rule without a LibDem brake. I still get regular emails form the New Zealand Immigration board inviting me to attend job events. However, for reasons that I’m not going to get into (because it’s nobody’s business) that’s not a possibility. We could only emigrate to a country with which the UK has a free movement arrangement, so by leaving the EU we’ll be stuck here. It will limit opportunities for us and our daughter. I’m seriously considering moving to Scotland in order to get the flick out of permanent Tory rule, as it seems inevitable they’ll declare independence following a Brexit vote. As it is we’re moving to Wales soon so I’m hopeful this would also accelerate Welsh plans for full devolution and independence from England.
Immigrants can’t be both taking your jobs and scrounging off the state. Pick one.
Immigrants factually contribute more to the economy than they take.
Oh, boomers, immigrants aren’t taking your damned jobs. You don’t have one, you’re retired. Don’t flick over your grandkids futures.
* I should have done a G+ variation of that image.