Referendum Day

Polling day is finally here and I would urge every single one of you now to vote Remain. Not because the EU is perfect; not because you love every European but because it’s the best option of the two on offer

Economics – the Single Market has been, is and will be beneficial for us. We get better deals as part of a bigger team rather than playing on our own. But the killer fact is that Leave simply do not have any credible idea of what to do and have avoided answering that question at every stage. Our economy has been doing well and jumping out of the warm cosy room into the dark with no plan and no idea what we will face is economic madness.

Immigration – the biggest red herring in this whole referendum. It’s not the main reason (or even in the top three) for pressures on NHS or housing and Immigrants from the EU have been part of the solution, not the problem; paying in their taxes and working in these areas. And then Leave don’t even promise to bring it down – they just keep shouting “Fear the Immigrant!” The fear and concern is real; but Leaving is no magic silver bullet that will solve those issues. Our population has increased before, it will increase again. We coped then because the extra people made our economy and our country stronger and wealthier. That’s still happening today.

Democracy – despite the best protestations of Leave, the EU is fairly democratic with its elected parliament that can remove the Commission. Personally I think this should be improved with election of the commission every four years; and there’s plenty of Europeans who want change as well. There won’t be any more special deals for the UK; but that just means we work with others to get change – as it should be! (How do you think we would react if Germany was demanding special treatment for itself?) We’re not constantly outvoted, we’re not picked on, we’re not part of a superstate. The EU has powers to cover trade and the Single Market – which are beneficial to us – and those are the ones that need to be democratically controlled. If it doesn’t have powers in its areas or responsibility, it has to keep its nose out or our own courts can challenge it. So it is democratic and restricted; but it could be better.

Nationalism – at the end of the debate yesterday, Boris said nothing of substance and just kept claiming Britain can do it and Believe in Britain. Of course we can do whatever we want and we’ll make the best of it come what may; but you’d heal and walk again from a bullet in the foot. That’s no reason to put it there yourself.

We are a great country. We have a proud history of liberal democratic ideas, of working with our allies and our friends to stand up to foul creeds, and of tolerance and inclusion. That’s my country. One that doesn’t give way to fear of the others and Remains with its friends for everyone’s benefit.