I, for one, am somewhat relieved that two campaigns of immense hyperbole have come to an end. From day one, exaggerations, ignorance and even blatant lies have too often been the only things reigning victorious in the lengthy British referendum on EU membership.
However, due to it being my last opportunity to do so, I must give in to my urge to add to the last dying breaths of the debate.
Always one in the habit of leaving things until the last minute, my decisiveness regarding the referendum was no exception – with a decision being reached only in the final month. Fortunately, what I perceive to be the moral, globalist and judicious argument is what has triumphed in my decision…that voting to leave the EU was eventually the only logical and justified box on my ballot paper.
No matter which way you’re voting, I hope that no one (as I fear) is voting on the perception that leaving the EU would be characterised by a “Little England” – of closed borders, xenophobia and shrunk global significance. That is not what leaving entails. If we were to let the views of a proportion of a campaign’s supporters define it, we would get nowhere.
Ultimately, Britain does not need to be part of a regressing, limiting and integrating union in order to thrive. It can look out into the world, embracing each and every nation equally without disproportionate trade, migration, fisheries and agricultural policies. It can do without Eurocentric favouritism.
Britain can stand alone as the 5th largest economy in the world supported by its stable institutions, democracy, proud diversity and liberalism, as has been the case throughout history. Britain has managed to successfully assume responsibilities and roles, fight for rights and freedoms and defend proud ideals long before the 1970s, without the EU holding its hand.
The EU is obviously beyond being a beneficial free trade agreement; it is a politico-economic union whose ambition is to impose a unitary approach on 28 beautifully diverse nations. It has no qualms about homogenising its members; it even seeks it.
Though I am proudly British, I would happily identify as European out of my love for the continent. It is that love that makes me squirm most about the EU’s arrogant interventions. Being half Finnish, I have also long been observing the damage the euro has done to its economy. Imposing a single currency on fundamentally different economies has been tragic beyond belief. The plight of Greece and the rest of the eurozone go without saying.
You might say that the euro has nothing to do with our referendum but it does; it manifests the political project of ever closer union, no matter what the cost, which the EU proudly and publicly strives for. While livelihoods are in tatters and youth unemployment soars, the EU boasts of its failed economic and monetary union. 28+ countries can never become one and countless disastrous results evidence that.
Europe is slowing in relative terms as a continent in many ways beyond its obviously woeful growth rates. Meanwhile, rapidly growing markets elsewhere are increasingly portraying the changing dynamism and innovation of their respective countries. Remaining in the EU only means that we are tied ever more disproportionately to this one continent, offering less of our demand, supply and attention to the rest of the world than we otherwise would. Why should we favour produce from a Frenchman who can cosy up to an EU politician or a big business who knows the lobbying process by hand – over the dynamic work of an Asian, the produce of a farmer in Africa or a manufacturer in South America?
Finally, it should be foreseeable that there is no “status quo” option on the ballot paper! The EU is constantly changing and constantly introducing something more, be it TTIP, uniform corporate tax rates or decisions on product bans. Voting to remain ensures more risk to our nation and world than leaving. We know what the EU is.
Practically every leader of the Remain campaign has admitted that they too see the EU’s major flaws. Yet they seem not brave enough to step forward to shape a more open world for benefit future generations. The uncertainty of leaving exists, but the certainty of life in the EU and disappointment after having not tried to optimistically step out are surely worse.
Reject the cowardice of the Remain campaign that is against change. Reject their small c conservatism.
But reject loud nationalism and xenophobic tones.
Vote leave, but vote leave for the long term benefit of Britain, Europe and the world.