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Br-accident's Happen - Why We Must Stay in the European Union

29/01/2016 15:09 GMT | Updated 28/01/2017 10:12 GMT

I am a Liberal Democrat, and a 'eurosceptic'. Hold your gasps, I'm also pro-European too. No, I'm not going to write under the pretence that leaving the EU would be a patriotic thing to do, or that it is a perfectly legitimate aim for internationalists, because it isn't.

The UK needs to stay in the EU, that much is clear, but that doesn't mean that I am romantically involved with the current foundations of this continental alliance.

Whether or not the anti-EU Tories or Ukip are prepared to admit it, internationalism is the future of politics. As we continue to integrate our economies, our societies and with that our problems, we must be able to co-operate with our neighbours as easily as possible.

If we were to be honest, the biggest threats facing our planet right now are terrorism, climate change, poverty and despots. None of these can be toppled by Nigel Farage alone, clutching a pint, red in the face with exasperation, with his back facing Europe like a child unwilling to compromise.

In honesty, I could write extensively evaluating the pros and cons of the economic policies of the EU, the over-stepping the organisation has made on certain legislation and the intricacies of it's open-door immigration policy, which ought to be lauded and celebrated not feared by the way.

But the simple fact is, the European Union is not perfect, it is a body rife with bureaucratic inefficiency, and lack of transparency - but crucially - it does much more good than harm.

There is no alternative vision of a prosperous life outside the EU being offered by those in favour of a 'Brexit' - there isn't one.

Even David Cameron knows that, though he sees gambling the country's future as more appealing than gambling his future in his own party, our Prime Minister knows that a 'Brexit' is not in our interest, or a 'Braccident' as it would be in his case.

We may be called 'Great' Britain, but we will not cure the world's ills on our own, nor are we the trading powerhouse that can command a greater presence on the world stage than the planet's largest trading bloc.

It doesn't matter if you're not enamoured with the EU, I am not either - but a reformed European Union is something we should all want.

The European Union provides this country with four million jobs, a 25% increase to our GDP, the chance for 1.4 million Britons to live abroad, a safeguard against pan-European wars, and a team of reliable allies with whom we can combat the world's ills.

The electorate mustn't lose their nerve and cave in to vapid ideals of an uncertain isolationist future or alluring cries of patriotism that pit neighbour against neighbour.

What is best for our country is staying in and fighting for a reformed Europe that works for every member state. Vote remain or regret it.