If you're planning to vote remain, please take a moment to read this article. It may help you reconsider the most important political decision of your life. Most people I've spoken to say they're planning to vote leave, but of the few who say they'll vote remain, these have been the most common reasons:
The EU is A Force For Good
Last year, shortly after Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, I wrote a piece inspired by the view of the EU from Gambia. Please read it. It sets out just a fraction of the ways in which the EU exploits and harms the poorest countries in the world. If Africa is too far away, consider the youth of Greece, Italy, and Spain, a generation crushed to service the needs of the Euro.
The EU Pursues Policies Which Harm The World's Poorest
Leave Voters Are Racist
Earlier in the campaign, I exposed how 2,700 non-EU nurses who had jobs with the NHS were turned away last year. Most of these nurses were from India and Indonesia, and we denied them opportunity because they did not have EU passports. The EU forces us to implement one of the most discriminatory immigration policies in the world. The predominantly white population of Europe can come and go as it pleases, while people from elsewhere in the world are rejected.
A Leave Vote Might Destroy the Economy
There is a safe, secure way for Britain to leave the EU, and it's been set out by Roland Smith of the Adam Smith Institute, here. The EEA Option is an interim step that gives us everything we need in terms of immigration control and economic security. The government has suppressed its Brexit plans, and I've been spearheading a campaign to get them published. David Cameron was forced into this referendum. He and George Osborne never expected to lose, so they thought they could get away with the most outrageous scaremongering. They have tried to deceive us; there is no reason to fear a leave vote.
To Protect the NHS
I've previously noted the strains currently faced by the NHS and why it's the poor who suffer most. Remaining in the EU is probably the biggest single risk to our health service, which also faces the threat of TTIP. If you're clinging to the hope that Jeremy Corbyn will veto TTIP, please read this article. Mr Corbyn might as well have promised to build a marshmallow staircase to the moon - he will simply never be given the opportunity to veto TTIP.
To Reform the EU
The EU is capable of change, but in only one way; to grab more power from the member states. Democratic reform within the EU is an impossibility. Britain, one of the EU's biggest donors, asked for reform, and, even when faced with the prospect of Brexit, the EU could offer us virtually nothing. The Lisbon Treaty gave the EU all the trappings of a nation state, and specifies that the EU is sovereign authority in all areas except those where it has chosen not to legislate. If you're staying in the EU in the misguided belief that you can reform it, you fail to understand sixty years of history; we will be crushed by an unstoppable bureaucracy.
To Prevent Farage's Britain
A remain vote is the best way of ensuring that Nigel Farage becomes one of the most powerful people in Britain. UKIP will be resurgent because none of the issues that have led to its rise will have been addressed. It will continue its upward trajectory and eat into the vote of both Labour and the Conservatives at the next General Election. If nothing else, this referendum has revealed people's profound anger at being swindled into political union, and it would be folly to ignore it. Vote leave and the European question will be settled once and for all. Vote remain and it will continue to plague British politics for years.
To Protect British Jobs
The EU doesn't care about British jobs. It cares about the success of the European project. If it has the opportunity to quell discontent in Spain by helping fund the move of a factory from Birmingham to Madrid, it will. The EU is a corporatist club, dedicated to serving the interests of huge multi-nationals. Look at this report from the Financial Times on the growth of the car industry in Morocco. Morocco isn't in the Single Market, but it is set to make 16% of all cars sold in France by 2020, because labour costs are 60% lower than they are in Europe. Ford Transits are now made in Turkey, also outside of the EU. Multi-national corporations will go where production is cheapest, in or out of the Single Market, and the EU will facilitate whatever they need to do business.
To Protect Our Rights
The strangest thing I've seen during this campaign is certain unions trumpeting their support of the EU by surrendering the credit they are due for securing workers' rights. Britain has led the world in the implementation of workers' rights, equality rights, and other valuable social initiatives. Not only are we often ahead of the EU, our standards usually exceed theirs. Please don't undermine Britain's progressive history and its compassionate people by thinking that a leave vote will see us regress to the poorhouses of Victorian London.
The UK Has A Long History Of Progressive Thinking
To Prevent a Conservative Britain
Paul Mason recognises the need to leave the EU, but wrote a deeply cynical article calling on Labour supporters to vote remain to prevent the Tories reigning supreme. Such cynicism would see our children and the generations that follow consigned to living in an undemocratic, unaccountable system, purely to play party politics. When this referendum was called, leave was polling around 30%. The establishment never expected to lose. If we vote to remain, it will never repeat that mistake. We will never again have the opportunity to leave, unless we elect a party that has Brexit as one of its manifesto commitments. At the moment the only party that does so is UKIP, so people like Paul Mason would risk a UKIP government, rather than buck up the strength to confront the current Conservative one.
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