The brutal political violence inflicted by the EU on Greece, and the inevitability of expanded globalisation and corrupt trade deals, show us that this dream is not one we can achieve by remaining in the EU. The only way we can truly send the EU a message will be by voting to leave it on the 23rd June.
When I recently told a colleague that I want the UK to leave the EU, she expressed considerable dismay that someone of my background - mixed-race, working class, comprehensive education - was lining up with far-right racists. Such a misguided view of the people who support Brexit does a disservice to the millions of Britons up and down the UK, who are now in a majority that understands why it is morally, politically and economically essential for Britain to leave the EU.
Whether you're campaigning to leave or remain, surely we can all agree that asking the poorest in society to shoulder the greatest burden is a raw deal? But by refusing to address the very real consequences of EU membership, the maths of immigration, and the required investment in public services, a raw deal is exactly what's on offer.
Of course economic considerations influence political decision-making, but some are too fundamental to draw up a cost benefit analysis. At the heart of the issue is whether or not Britain should remain part of an expanding and undemocratic super-state. Democracy should not be sacrificed upon a cross of gold.
It is too simplistic, to say the least, to think that having filed for divorce with a vote to Leave we would get to dictate from the sidelines the terms and settlement to access EU markets following the separation. For all its frustrations, being part of the world's largest trading bloc, is critical for the investment projects that are so vital for success in the Northern Powerhouse. We need to remain to keep it that way.
Our democratic rights are all we have to protect us from tyranny and poor government. We must not sell them for the illusion of a pot of EU gold. People on both sides will try to use scare stories of immigration, risks to the economy, house prices, war and all sorts of other noisy issues, but, at its quiet heart, democracy is the defining issue of this referendum.
It has long been evident that the referendum on 23 June is about whether Britain's membership of the European Union should be maintained regardless of the deal David Cameron struck with the EU member countries on 19 February 2016. As such, the questions facing unions and their members are even more profound and searching than could have been expected.
There is much at stake in Europe just now. The external environment is characterised by economic slowdown, the pressure of conflict, the refugee crisis, and the need to move rapidly to act on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to climate. Urgent action is also needed to tackle the tax and transparency issues revealed by the Panama Papers. The threat of global disease epidemics is ever-present, with Ebola having been supplanted by the zika virus as the most urgent current threat. In all these arenas, the priority is coordinated action among groups of nations: another reason to put the global role of the EU high on the agenda.