European Union

Last week the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about this.

Politics is a subject that it is often best to avoid. It can lead to heated debates and even ruin friendships. Nevertheless I’m going to stick my neck out and talk about this. Firstly I’m going to let C.G.P Grey explain what the EU is…

It is rather disturbing that people were googling ‘What is the EU?’ – after the vote – I hope that those people didn’t vote.

In an article in the Guardian David Mitchel states: ‘The EU is a matter for Parliament’ And Richard Dawkins, mentioned in the same article, says:

“It is an outrage that people as ignorant as me are being asked to vote. This is a complicated matter of economics, politics, history, and we live in a representative democracy not a plebiscite democracy. You could make a case for having plebiscites on certain issues – I could imagine somebody arguing for one on fox hunting, for example – but not on something as involved as the European Union. This should be a matter for parliament.”

I think that this is quite right. Part of the idea of Parliamentary representation is that we give others permission to act on our behalf. To understand all the details of the EU would take hours – in short the average citizen is not qualified to make such a decision.

I voted remain. I feel I have a good understanding of the issues, or at least good enough, and that that choice was the right one. According to the statistics most people around my age agree with that choice. It was the older generation that wanted us to leave and it looks like that is what will happen. It doesn’t have to happen as the referendum was only advisory and it still has to go through Parliament. Parliament could decide to ignore it – this is highly unlikely as it would be political suicide for them. Nevertheless the margin was so small I think we need continued discussion – even Farage agrees with that – at least he did when it looked like he was going to loose.

One wonderfully ironic side of this is Nigel Farage. He is calling this the UK’s independence day but the UK may not be the UK for much longer. Scotland overwhelming voted to remain and there is now talk of another Independence referendum. So it seems that Farage may face the situation of being out of the EU, which he wants, but us no longer being the UK.

I am deeply troubled by us leaving the EU. Mostly because of the way the Brexit campaign was handled. I recognise that many good people voted to leave and had good reason for doing so. Nevertheless it does seem to have opened the door to racism and xenophobia.

This continued fear regarding immigration and foreigners in general is very worrying. I may be overreacting but the general idea of putting Britain first has some disturbing historical parallels. It feels to me like the first baby steps to a very bad situation. I am just a little frighted.

…the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think…I don’t like what we have become.

[Captain Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Drumhead)]

I have never been exactly proud to be British. It is just a fact. Since the referendum though I am ashamed to be British. We seem to becoming a nation that is scared to work with others and cannot see beyond our own borders.

If this does go ahead and Trump becomes US President I think I might see if that flight to Mars has any seats left.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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1 Comment

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One response to “European Union

  1. This is an excellent post. I agree wholeheartedly.

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