Why we’re voting to remain in the EU
Based on recent polls, the majority of young people want Britain to remain in the EU.
For some of us, this is an emotional decision: yes, we’re British, but we’re also European. Part of the pleasure of visiting places on the continent and meeting the people who live there is the feeling you’re both at home and very far away. Losing that and the bond of community we have with other Europeans would be terrible.
Imagine going on holiday to a foreign country and finding more people scoff at you for being stuck-up and elitist than do already. Imagine wanting to visit European friends and family and finding it infinitely more difficult. Imagine your year abroad is cancelled so you’re forced to sit around talking about football with the same 12 guys you’ve spent the rest of uni with. There’s so much to lose by leaving.
There are, of course, more pragmatic reasons to back a remain vote too. It would be mad to leave the EU when that means pitching off the edge of a cliff with no idea where we’re going to land. Honestly, even the politicians have no idea what will happen. If it isn’t broken, why would we try to fix it?
On Wednesday, the IMF suggested that leaving the EU could cause “severe regional and global damage”. That should be taken seriously. We’re not financially healthy as it is. It will likely damage trade relationships, it will make us more isolated and it will give us far less clout, globally. It will minimise our power to do good – both for ourselves, and in the world.
So much emphasis is put on immigration and restrictive laws by some of the more vocal OUT supporters, they tend to brush over some of the laws which benefit us. EU law is progressive. It brought in equal pay and the European Court of Human Rights protects us. Communication between our criminal intelligence networks is going to become ever more vital in the years to come, meaning we should be sticking together, not drifting apart.
For all the fears about immigration, most young people will know someone who came over here from another European country, received an education and actively gave back to society. If we left Europe, that might never be possible again. It’s easy to fall back on xenophobia and anger, stoked by hate-filled speeches from out-spoken public figures, but it has never been and will never be the answer to our problems.
It’s worth remembering that the fledgling start of what we now know as the European Union came in the wake of the world’s bloodiest conflict. The predecessors of our current leaders resolved to never allow violence and hatred to consume our countries again. As a result, regionalism guided us through to the most peaceful and profitable era in human history.
It’s really easy to be snobby and dismissive about the rest of Europe. Thinking this way will get us nowhere though. The greatest achievements in human history come from working together towards a common goal, not drawing up the drawbridge, jamming fingers in your ears and refusing to let anyone else play with your toys. Imagine what would have happened if the Wright brothers had refused to work together, Alexander Graham Bell had kept the telephone for himself and Kevin Pietersen hadn’t agreed to be English instead of South African. The world would be an infinitely worse place.
We’re not saying the EU is perfect but find us a democratically representative body which is. It’s definitely much, much better than the lonely alternative. Let’s not throw away what we have.
The EU referendum is on June 23.