The Flag of Europe

The Flag of Europe

I've been thinking about this of late, trying to figure out why I'm so viscerally opposed to the idea of the UK leaving the European Union.

I don't know what the reason is for my having such a strong gut reaction, but I do know what it isn't.

It isn't a natural reluctance to support any cause containing Messrs Gove, Johnson, and Farage that has put me off the idea of Brexit. Even when you throw such unsavoury supporters as Rupert Murdoch or even Marine Le Pen from the French far right into the mix, it's not that either.

It isn't the many economists who predict recession and other economic problems if we leave, and it's not even the support given to Remain by David Stokes the CEO of IBM UK who, along with a ton of other business leaders, signed an open letter back in February. I know that they are mainly concerned that Brexit threatens their profits, and I guess that it probably does but no, that's not it.

It most definitely is not because I think that the European Union is perfect. It very clearly isn't, and it needs reforming. In particular, the balance of power between the European Commission and the Parliament seems skewed in favour of the former. That being the case, it is no wonder that the EU is seen as undemocratic. If we remain in the EU, I hope that we can take an active part in that reform process.

These things are significant to me, but they aren't why I feel so deeply about it.

I think it started off with the things that I've read about war in Europe. I've read Churchill's diaries and there's no doubt that the Second World War was a horrific business, and one that we can't afford ever to repeat. The European Union in its various historic forms has been an important contributor to keeping the peace.

Taking that a bit further, I am starting to conclude that for me it's about the fundamental idea that it's better for humans to join together with each other than it is for us to split apart. It's better to build things than it is to break them up. I think that we do our best stuff when we work together, even if we're often not very good at it.

I hope we don't leave. I hope that we hang in and help fix things. I have hope that we can and will make it work.