For us north of the border it’s like de ja vu all over again. Stay or go is the decision – to be part of the bigger picture or to have home rule. And it appears that the vote will be just as close on this referendum as the last one was. The strange thing is that no major party is campaigning to leave (because UKIP isn’t a major party).
But nobody is singing the praises of the EU either – we know it has an over inflated sense of self, it’s ridiculously heavy on the purse strings and ultimately it is a mess. But I think we’re better off in it with a view to changing all that that standing on the outside shouting in at it.
Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn showed that exact feeling by effectively shrugging at the issue and saying “You’ll do” like a drunk at closing time to the nearest trap. No one particularly likes it in its modern form across the continent, but we can’t do much about it unless we are involved in the day-to-day processes. There are the usual scaremongering tactics from both sides with little evidence to back up what anyone says and if we did leave there is no singular plan to follow.
Not even the Germans and French agree on much these days within the EU and it’s hard to see how such a flabby and red-tape-laden structure would ever be allowed to go ahead again, but now we are part of it we could easily sort things out if those suckling on the moneyed teat would stop to take breath for once. Firstly I’d scrap the European Parliament. It’s not fit for purpose – instead we already have elected officials in each country who cold speak on our behalf so we should focus on achieving more through MPs than MEPs. Costs would drop dramatically and every nation would have more money to put into their own priorities.
Secondly I’d rewind and sort out trade agreements. We all know that if you work together and bulk buy you get a better price – block cheap imports (or at least put a levy on them to encourage European manufacturing) and focus on improving our home-grown resources. We also know that by combining skills and resources you get a stronger representation than each individual part trying on their own. So I’d pull intelligence services, police, areas of the armed forces and customs to stop the constant rule breaking and issues around terrorism.
Finally I want a united voice to speak against those who are pushing others around. The UN and NATO work to a point, but with the collective voices of Europe standing up to Putin, China and other despot dictators we’d maybe stop some of the pointless gesturing we get caught up in all the time.
So – yes it’s terrible, but I’d rather be in than out as many laws have been passed that give us rights as humans, workers and families. We are supporting those most in need in industry by a collective approach. There is a friendship amongst countries that have done nothing but fight each other for the last millennia – a peace that is lasting and countries who support each other when in need.
My one issue with the whole thing? Can we just get on with the vote – I don’t think I can stand ten weeks of this bickering.