I'm one of the first to criticise the EU referendum campaign on both sides. Firstly, because no one understands the EU. I've got a degree in Politics and I still can't grasp it all. It's so bureaucratic and distant to the people of this country, that no wonder so many of us are confused about what affect it has on our lives, good or bad.
Secondly, politics gets nasty and you can't trust anyone. Naturally, considering the title of this article, I support staying in the EU, but even "my side" of the campaign spouts facts and figures that I'm less than trusting about. Everything can be turned around to support your own side or condemn the other, you just have to be passionate enough to see it.
So where do I stand then? And how did I get there?
I'm not going to deny that I'm not a bit keen when it comes to politics, like I said I did a degree in the subject, so it's not a surprise that I've thought about this a lot. But for me it came down to principles. I've always believed that principles are more powerful than any factual or statistical evidence. And I think this is where both sides of the campaign are going wrong. Let me explain.
We hear a lot of figures being thrown at us. 'So-many jobs' we gain from the EU or 'however much money' it costs each person etc. but does this really hit home? We've been bombarded with so many facts and figures, skewed by bias, that do they really have an impact on us anymore? I don't believe so. For every piece of research saying one thing for one side, there's another saying it for the other side on the same topic. So what can we really believe?
So I think this referendum should be about principles. Do we still want to be a part of the European Union? That's it. Do you want to? Normally I whole-heartedly advocate that people do thorough and unbiased (if that exists) research before they put a cross in the box, but this time feels different. This time, I suggest going with your gut.
I want to be a citizen of a country that doesn't run from problems, and doesn't leave its friends. Europe is a community of people. We are strong together, even if a little flawed. I don't believe that abandoning that community and distancing ourselves is morally and practically the right thing to do.
We are all people are we not? This is something that I think everyone needs to remember more. Everyone is fundamentally the same. Everyone is human and everyone deserves a chance at life. It's literally just luck that you're born in the country you are. But we are privileged in this country and we shouldn't be greedy and trying to keep it all to ourselves, we should be using it to help others and we can achieve more if we join forces. They're all humans too. You just have to ignore the borders.
We cannot begin to solve world problems or tackle climate change and other big issues without coming together and working with each other, simply as people, instead of being split by nationalities. There's nothing wrong with being proud of your country, and definitely I will be, if we choose to stay with our family in Europe.
We need each other and we deserve each other. When it all boils down to it, one core value of mine which stands strong when I think about this issue is that, no good can ever come from walking away from a community and going it alone. We are all stronger together and we cannot make change or help people from the outside in as well as we can by being a part of the group.
People will say "but that's not practical" and "you're very idealistic" but I don't feel like I have any other choice in this referendum. I don't trust anything except my principles in this debate, and I think that many other people will feel the same way I do. Sometimes you have to let go of a bit of reason in order to make the right choice.
This is an amazing chance for everyone, from either side of the debate, to have a say and send a strong message, to not only Europe but the whole world, about what the British people value the most. So I will be voting to remain in the European Union this June. I hope you use your principles to guide you and do the same.