I’ve posted before on why I think the EU Referendum is a bad idea. If you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, the summary is that the general British public are too stupid to make a fully informed decision. I realise that’s a sweeping generalisation, but as today has gotten ever closer I’ve been very alarmed by some of the comments and opinions I’ve heard from the average Joe Bloggs.
My vote is cast and I’m 100% certain I’ve chosen the right option.
For the record, and because I’m in no way ashamed or protective of my decision, I’m firmly in the Vote Remain camp. This is based on personal circumstances, commercial circumstances and what I believe is the right move for Britain. I truly believe in stronger together.
Some people hold their personal political beliefs very close to their chest, and I very much understand that. It can cause hostility. Last year I got into a conversation in a bar with a man I didn’t know following the General Election. We were chatting merrily about all sorts of things, and the conversation turned to politics. When I revealed that I’d voted for the Conservative party in the Election, he literally turned his back on me and wouldn’t speak another word. This was a man in his 60s! Very immature and extreme behaviour, but indicative of how strongly some people feel.
I don’t believe in trying to influence people’s voting choice as it is a very personal decision. But when people are quite blatantly being uneducated and voting for ridiculous reasons I admit to “pointing things out” (you may have noticed, if you read this blog regularly, that I’m rather opinionated and vocal!) The husband, on the other hand, has been quite vociferous in his disdain for people voting in the opposite camp to him (even his own Mom!) and last night he seemed to be on a one man social media political tirade. Having said that, he had a horrendous few years where he got involved in a forced company buyout and making redundancies during the last recession, so he’s keen to avoid the threat of another economic downturn. His methods might be questionable (the phrase “uneducated idiot” has been used more than once) but his intentions are good.
Here are 5 things I’ve either thought, heard or read during the lead up to the referendum:
Thought: Boris Johnson – great as a guest presenter on Have I Got News For You, not great as a Prime Minister (also, as commented by a friend, how can you trust a man who can’t even control his hair to control the country?)
Heard: Various stories of people who want to retire to Spain but are voting out (WHAT????) Or even people who have second/holiday homes in Spain but also intend to vote out “because Spain needs our income for their economy so they’ll be kind to us”. Good luck with that.
Read: “Not everyone who votes out is racist, but everyone who is racist will vote out.” I’m alarmed by how many people are using immigration as their sole reason for voting out. All immigrants seem to be put into the same category, when of course there are massive differences. Leaving the EU won’t stop illegal immigration because, by it’s very nature, people don’t need permission to do it. Also, economic migrancy is different to fleeing-your-home-country-due-to-war migrancy. And many migrants who come here are non-EU members anyway (e.g Syria). There seems to be an opinion that we’ll leave the EU and there’ll be no more “bloody foreigners” coming in. Ridiculous. Also, why is it that people who come to the UK are immigrants, but when British people move abroad they’re ex-pats?
Thought: Many people who want to “Take Back Control” (and if you watched the BBC debate with Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart on Tuesday night you’ll fully understand why that statement grates on me – it was uttered every other bloody sentence) actually dislike the Tory government. So by voting out they’re relinquishing their secondary support network to stop the Tories doing exactly what they want in the country, as the Tories will have sole control. There’ll be no European intervention around maximum hours and human rights, for example.
FACT: If we leave, the EU member states are under no obligation to negotiate favourable trade deals with the UK. There seems to be this arrogant notion that Europe needs to trade with us and will be fair. Really? Put it this way, If someone told me they no longer wanted to be my friend, but they’d come on a night out with me when they wanted to, I’d tell them to bog off. Europe is more likely to make an example of us by making life difficult in order to discourage other member states from leaving. The company I work for does a lot of business in Europe. In contrast, when we ship to non-EU member country Norway, we pay 25% duty. Multiply that by 27 other EU member states and that becomes a big problem to UK businesses who currently have a large European market. And that’s assuming that they don’t impose even higher duties and trade restrictions.
In truth, anyone who enjoys holidays and travel, works for a company who trades in Europe or enjoys the current low mortgage rates from the Bank of England would be a hypocrite to vote out, because you’re making life more difficult for yourself. There is no evidence to prove that leaving the EU is good for Britain. Our Prime Minister thinks we should stay, leading Captains of Industry think we should stay, and the President of America; arguably the most powerful man in the world, thinks we should stay. Pretty compelling.
More to the point, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump think we should leave. That in itself is all the evidence I need.
On that note, I’m off to collect my holiday Euros, which I bought in advance for fear that the unthinkable happens and the exchange rate goes tits!
Thanks, as always, for reading! x