W&Y reader Peter Kennedy responds to Tuesday’s article arguing for Brexit.
‘Why the UK Should Remain in the EU.
I have been a fan of politics for a long time. At school during our Government & Politics lessons we were introduced to the entire political spectrum from Lenin and Marx to Hitler. We were then left to work out where on that spectrum we wished to sit, some chose left, some chose right whilst others enjoyed the view from the centre. That’s life.
I became a fan of Tony Benn and read each of his diaries as they were published, eager to see what was really going on in Westminster, but now my political interests have now expanded to include European politics. I remember Edward Heath signing the UK up to the original Common Market and the sight of Margaret Thatcher enforcing ‘rule by handbag’ over the EU is still fresh in my mind.
Over the last forty years I have lived and worked all over the world and my links back to the UK are now tenuous at best, because of this I now think of myself as a European rather than a UK citizen, a member of a much larger family.
In his piece Paul expressed concern about rule from Brussels and brought up the point that unless you were able to get rid of someone governing you then you didn’t live in a true democracy. Such thinking works fine at the local level but by the time you reach something the scale of the House of Commons (not even European level) things begin to fall apart. The vote of every MP counts including those MPs who someone else, maybe hundreds of miles away, has elected. So, if your local MP votes against war with Syria but the vote for war passes with a large majority then you need to live with the decision that has been made on your behalf. You are governed by parliament as a whole and as an individual voter you cannot dismiss an entire government. The same principle applies in Europe, you vote for your local MEP but (issues of veto aside) every MEP has an equal vote and someone from France or Hungary could vote in favour of something you disagree with. Europe is governed by a parliament that has been elected by the European citizens.
I do not approve of the UK ‘half in half out’ position in Europe. If you want to be a member of a club and enjoy its benefits, then you must be a full member and stop messing around.
Do I think that the UK should sign up for the Schengen Agreement? Yes. Do I think that the UK should join the Euro? Yes. The UK is affected by the Euro whether it likes it or not so it might as well become a full member. As for the referendum I hope that the UK votes to remain in Europe because by leaving they will cease to have a voice in European affairs and yet continental Europe will continue to affect them.
Just for a moment think of the alternative but applied at a European level, countries leave the EU one by one until it falls apart, at the same time right wing nationalist parties gain control of each nation state in an effort to enforce their own interests. Speculation? Hungary is already
building walls and fences and the Austrians are not far behind. Then the old territorial claims resurface and we are back to 1917 again.
For now Europe needs to remain as it is whilst it puts its house in order. Such an exercise requires that all members of the European Union play their part in creating stability rather than conflict and starting to think of themselves as members of a European family rather than a disjointed collection of states all acting in their best interests.”