Monday, May 09, 2016

Britsin, not Brexit: why Britain should stick with Europe

A brief inglorious history and scary future

For much of recorded history since the Roman conquest, European countries have been fighting each other, culminating in the appalling carnage of World Wars 1 and 2 in which tens of millions died. Part of the reason for the foundation of what has now become the European Union was to try to ensure that this never happened again. Seventy years without a European war seems like a success story to me. Yes, the European Union needs reform and yes it has many faults, but I believe it is more likely survive with Britain as one of its major members. And it needs to survive because the prospect of disintegration is scary indeed — and that is looking like a possibility. If that happened, it is pie in the sky to imagine that this country , having chosen to leave the EU, could somehow sail unscathed into the future whilst Europe – just a few miles away across the Straits of Dover – was tearing itself apart again.


What the staying-in campaign needs is a snappy slogan to counter the rather cool-sounding "Brexit". (To me, Brexit sounds like something rather unpleasant you would do in the toilet after breakfast! To someone undecided, it might just tip the balance towards an exit vote.) So how about "BritsIn" ... or maybe “BritStick”? The world needs a major stabilising power which leads on the environment and ethics and acts as a counterweight to Vladimir Putin's Russia, a powerful China (which gets it on climate change) and a United States ruled, in less than a year maybe, by a government which doesn't get that climate change is global. A reformed Europe with Britain as one of the big players seems to me the best option. So I'm for BritsIn!