Final thoughts on the EU. Unless provoked!
A friend sent me the link to the Brexit movie, which I mentioned two posts ago. I viewed and responded to her as follows:
“I’m proud to be a liberally-minded outward-looking Englishman, European, citizen of the world. Any film or message that begins with ‘we the people’ is automatically suspect. Pretending to refer back to the American constitution, but sounding more like Oswald Mosley in the 1930s.
There’s much wrong with the EU. There’s bound to be with any institution which brings together 26 nations. But the important thing is that it’s brought them together. We live in peace, amazingly. After fighting each other pretty much forever. We trade successfully, and we can only lose by leaving. The Leave story here is a disgraceful misrepresentation. Fully-argued surveys on one side against rose-tinted speculation on the other. Which do we go for? And trade means regulations and standards – we will need them anyway if we want to trade with Europe. And on the environmental side, and that includes animal welfare, I’m delighted to see that our standards have been taken up by the EU, and that means countries with much poorer standards than ours.
Listen on iPlayer to Paddy Ashdown on Any Questions last Friday [13th May] taking apart Liam Fox when Fox tried to dismiss all the world institutions – the IMF, OECD etc – that argue for the UK staying in the EU as somehow biased or self-serving or in the EU’s pay. Only by traducing the integrity of these institutions (and none have come out favouring Brexit) can the Leave campaign make a case for themselves – and it’s profoundly to their discredit that they try. Likewise Mark Carney and the Bank of England – should he not issue warnings when warnings are what his role as Governor requires of him?
I walked the Camino across northern Spain with fellow Europeans last autumn. Not with the Brexit-minded. But with people mainly younger, mainly much younger than myself. They are the future. There’s a spirit of optimism, of sharing.
Sovereignty – that’s how the film begins. Sovereignty is worthless unless you work with others, and that means sharing some of that sovereignty. The EU is what we make of it – and we have one of the dominant voices there.
Immigration – on the plus side, an incontrovertible net benefit to the economy, on the debit side, pressure on resources and in some cases, jobs. How we control immigration (and still get the benefits) should be the issue, not how we oppose it.
Do we really want to turn the world against us?
Boris’s comments about the EU wanting a European superstate as Hitler did are disgraceful. We are the EU. The EU doesn’t have a separate existence. Linking it to Hitler is atrocious history, and populism of the worst kind.
Someone somewhere said he hoped the film would enlighten and entertain. It does the opposite.”