Reluctant as I am to add to the endless pile of opinions about tomorrow’s referendum, I cannot resist a few words in an attempt to explain why I think that we should remain.
We have not rescinded our sovereignty as so often claimed. We have, in fact delegated elements of it and it for us to rescind that delegation as and when we see fit. Doing so, however can only be done once.
Take Back Control
The mantra of the leave campaign, repeated, ad nauseam, like a badly trained parrot in last night’s TV debate is like an out of date attempt at search engine optimisation. It is an attempt to browbeat people into a frame of mind which is inward looking and feeds off the rose-tinted image of a Britain that never really existed and certainly will never exist in the future.
The leave proponents do not deny that there is a very high liklihood of economic turbulence should they win the day. What they fail to do is to translate that turbulence into everyday language and in particular into the short term risk to the jobs of ordinary people. Long term vision and benefits are really important but the short term cost to individual, ordinary people is likely to be out of all proportion to the long term gains.
This element of the debate has descended into brutish semi-racist soundbites. It is a serious issue and one which merits serious debate and reform. However, this reform will be far more effective if done from within the EU. It is becoming ever more clear that Britain does not stand alone in this regard and that our fears and concerns are increasingly shared by our ‘continental’ neighbours.
Remain & Reform
Successive British governments have proved ever more useless at using our globally famous powers of diplomacy and negotiation to proper effect. These last few weeks have proved how badly our own domestic political system needs to change but it has also pointed towards the need for EU reform and the increased appetite for such reform within the EU itself. If The EU resists reform then it will fail. The EU has failed to realise that it has entered a state of emergency in which even its most fundamental beliefs need to be varied to a certain extent. This variation may require short or medium term suspension or alteration of certain principles. No single government of any persuasion has proved particluarly competent in recent decades. Hoping to reform the EU in a few short weeks of meetings and discussions was never a realistic proposition.
I have little enough faith in our politicians’ ability to deal with a post-remain Britain. I fear that their ability to successfully steer us through a post Brexit lanscape is no-existant.
We should remain and without delay set a realistic agenda for reform. This is likely to need a five year time scale. If this plan were to be set on a cross party basis, it would fix it as a clear set of targets irrespective of which political party stays or comes into power.