The EU – In or Out?

I haven’t said much on my position on the EU as I have been reading and trying to get to grips with the arguments… not the rhetoric… and it is difficult.

I see both huge benefits and huge disadvantages on both sides and like all decisions that actually matter it is a balance

It is difficult because I see both huge benefits and huge disadvantages on both sides and like all decisions that actually matter it is a balance. I can see reasons to stay and if I focused only on those then I would probably vote in. I can see reasons to leave and so might vote out. As the “man in the street” I have no detailed information, only what I am told through the media and my own personal experience. So how do I decide?

it seems to me that there is an overwhelming issue at stake and it is called democracy

However we research it we are only ever likely to scratch at the surface here but even then it is difficult and yet it is probably the most important vote I may ever make in my lifetime. So I have tried to look at it more holistically and when I do it seems to me that there is an overwhelming issue at stake and it is called democracy.

(Countries of the EU)… have vastly different priorities, values, principles and standards of living, economic strength, climate etc, not to mention very different historical backgrounds

In the free world we rely on the very principles of democracy. That is… we vote to put our leaders in power and if they let us down we know we will have an opportunity to vote again and change the leadership within a reasonable period of time. Now, it could be said that the EU is the very essence of democracy. It is true that we vote in our own local representative to have a say on our behalf and in that respect it is democratic. On the other hand, we, as a nation, has no democratic say as a collective. Our local vote goes into the EU pot along with the other 750 MEPs but the vast majority of those are living in other countries. They have vastly different priorities, values, principles and standards of living, economic strength, climate etc, not to mention very different historical backgrounds which have shaped their lives for centuries in very different way to the UK. Yet, the EU lumps them all in together and requires them to make decisions on all our behalfs.

If we don’t agree with the policies of the French, Germans or anyone else, we cannot vote for government change there

So we in the UK have a say, yes, but it is a very small one and ultimately, the decisions that are made will be determined primarily by people elected in other countries where we have very little say and influence. If we don’t agree with the policies of the French, Germans or anyone else, we cannot vote for government change there and so influence the direction politics might take nationally… which directly influences the international politics and the EU. In essence, we are governed by a body which we, the UK people, cannot vote out of office if they let us down.

We are being governed in a totally undemocratic and unaccountable way. If we, the EU citizens, are let down by our leaders we cannot vote them out of office

We have seen over the past week how the national politics of each individual country influences EU policy. The heads of governments have been thrashing out the so called “renegotiation”. David Cameron has an agreement but in essence the agreement is primarily between the heads of the other countries… between themselves… not between them and the UK. It is clear from that exercise that the direction the EU takes is controlled by governments which we did not elect and which we have absolutely no way to vote out of office. We are being governed in a totally undemocratic and unaccountable way. If we, the EU citizens, are let down by our leaders we cannot vote them out of office.

the EU is fundamentally undemocratic being run by a quango of heads of governments which we have no influence over whatsoever

So this then is my position. Fundamentally, for me, the individual issues are not as important as the overriding principle at stake… the EU is fundamentally undemocratic being run by a quango of heads of governments which we have no influence over whatsoever. It is a fudge that gives the illusion of being democratic whilst at the same time being anything but. For it to be truly democratic the citizens of Europe should be able to vote in all the elections for government in ALL countries. In other words we should be able to vote for our leaders. We cannot do that in the EU as it stands. Of course, that is the goal of the architects of the EU, an EU superstate, but the countries are so diverse in so many way that that could never be a viable option. Also it is just too big. The USSR showed that enforcement of a single way on diverse societies just creates dissatisfaction and disharmony. We should learn from the USSR.

the real question is do we want to get back control?

So, the theatre of the past few days is, for me, a side show and, in the end irrelevant to the main issues at stake here… do we want to have control of our lifestyle in the UK or are we happy handing over that control to unelected (unelected by us that is) governments, officials and judiciary of countries far away from us geographically, economically, socio-politically and historically? Of course, we have done this already so the real question is do we want to get back control?

I want us to get back control and so I am voting out

My position then is very pro-European. I am European but after being British and I want us to remain close trading partners and allies of Europe. But I am against the EU. I see it as undemocratic and a danger to the security and well-being of the individual counties. I can see very little that we do within the EU that we could not do outside and often in a better way as we then have control to tailor things to suits our particular set of priorities instead of having to allow for the priorities of say, Romania or Hungary or any of the other countries so far removed from our British way of life. I want us to get back control and so I am voting out and I will be campaigning to encourage everyone else to do so too.

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