In recent weeks I have heard increasingly more arguments from In campaigners which are not only factually inaccurate, but are frankly deliberately misleading. In Part II of this myth buster series I will attempt to shine a light on some of these and provide rebuttal to each, to show all of you why the better open on June 23rd is to Vote Leave.
Myth: ‘I’m In because I’m a Global Citizen’
I’m sorry, if you believe this, then you are not a global citizen. The European Union is not about engaging with the world and Brexit is not about withdrawing from it. The EU represents a political, economic, and increasingly security union between 28 nations. It represents a closed group of 28 nations, hemmed in by a common (and highly inflexible) border, and a common (and highly inflexible) external tariff. If you are a true internationalist, you will accept that 197 is a much larger number than 28, and you will Vote Leave.
But I digress, the real issue here is how Brexit is portrayed. The In campaign would have you believe that we are Little Englanders, that we want isolation, that we are not global citizens, alas they are lying to you. I want to see Britain on the world stage again, with our feet under the table at the World Trade Organisation, able to chart our own course through the murky waters of international politics. I want to see a Britain able to form free trade deals with the entire world, not just 14% of it. I want to see a Great Britain, allying ourselves with our friends, be they European, Asian, African, American or Australasian. Because it shouldn’t matter where a country is located, if they share our values, our beliefs and our aspirations, there should be no restrictions on our friendships.
Lets be global citizens again.
Myth: ‘We’re Safer In’
This is an oft repeated phrase put out by the In camp, which lends itself nicely to the Project Fear rhetoric they are attempting to create. Unfortunately, it is a fundamentally flawed assertion. Indeed it is an assertion which can be nothing more than conjecture. There are two main ways in which I wish to tackle this, however I shall only address one in this piece and reserve the latter (that of intelligence and policing) for another edition of myth busting. For now, I shall be taking on this myth from the peace perspective.
It is a common mistake to use the argument that Britain is somehow safer in the EU because there have been no major European conflicts for 70 years. In one respect they are correct, in that there have indeed been no major conflicts on the European continent for seven decades. Where the misdirection applies, is when this is laid down as an achievement of the European Union, because it is not. The lack of major conflict in Europe since the end of World War Two can be explained for several reasons, and for the sake of not writing an International Relations essay on the subject (because I write enough of those as is) I shall only brief touch on the headline of those. The main reason is a fairly simple one: the balance of world power has shifted away from the European mainland. The Cold War is the most notable example, the main two powers having been the USSR and the USA, and yet what In campaigners forget is that for all the political alliances within Europe a clash between those two nations would have seen a major war in Europe.
Now, at this juncture I feel a hypothetical is required to demonstrate how a European war is just as possible within a European political union.
Say, in 2018, Russia are performing military exercises and ‘accidentally’ cross the border into Estonia. The two sides clash. Russia invades Estonia in retaliation. What happens then? Well, our political union is honour bound to come to the aid of Estonia, and we see a war on the European continent once again. Except this time it is a bigger war, because as we saw in WWI and WWII, alliances and political unions serve only to increase the number of belligerents and increase the human cost.
Hypothetical, but possible. There is absolutely no evidence that the EU creates peace, if anything it is just another alliance and history shows us that alliances cause more wars than they prevent. Still feel Safer In? Neither do I.
Myth: ‘Leave campaigners are anti-immigration’
Let me be clear at this point, that I am not advocating any specific immigration policy and neither are many of my fellow campaigners. What we are advocating is choice, is democracy, is fairness. Should it matter where a person is born, if they want to live in this country? If you believe that people from France and Italy have more right to live in Britain than people from India and Pakistan, then the European Union is for you.
I don’t believe it is right for a government to be elected with an immigration target, and be unable to meet that target because it cannot control the thing it was mandated to do. I don’t believe it is right, that my friends who were born outside of the EU should have any less opportunity to live and work in this country than someone born inside of the EU. Think about your friends, no doubt some of them were born outside of a 28 nation political union. Do they deserve to be discriminated against by an unfair immigration system?
It is not fair that a doctor from Delhi should have less access to this country than a plumber from Paris. It is not right that a lawyer from Lahore should be denied entry when a road sweep from Rome isn’t. It is not just that your friends from 169 nations should be discriminated against in favour of people from 27.
No one can choose where they are born. No one can influence that. Your friends, your neighbours, your families should not lose out because of their result in life’s first great lottery.