Many people will by now have voted in the European Referendum basing their vote on what they know of the European Union and Britain’s relationship with it, but for those who haven’t here is my response to some of the worst of the negative campaign messages of project fear.
Project Fear states that Britain is suffocating under European legislation and red tape. This is simply not true. The majority of the so-called red tape that project fear highlight are interpretations and extensions of EU legislation imposed by the British Civil Service under a system whereby they take sensible EU rules and extend them beyond recognition. The UK parliament has the opportunity to question and discard these additional rules, but rarely does. These rules are entirely made in Britain, and only 14% of UK Legislation is made in the EU.
Project fear states that Britain will be ‘swarming’ with immigrants from Turkey as soon as the referendum is over. This is nonsense because firstly the UK controls its own borders, we are not a member of Shengen, and secondly Greek Cyrprus has a veto on Turkish membership of the EU. That veto will ensure that Turkey is not admitted at any time soon, it won’t even need the British Veto.
Project Fear states that Britain cannot get her own way in Europe, which is also not true. Britain is the second largest economy in the EU, we got our own way on the Euro (we didn’t join), Shengen (we control our own borders), Banking (our banks are not subject to EU regulations) and employment law (particularly the bit that allows Junior Doctors in the NHS to work longer hours than in any other EU member state).
Project Fear states that the EU is aiming to become a European Superstate. With Britain at the heart of the EU that cannot happen, with Britain out of the EU it almost certainly will.
Project fFear plays on our national pride, but I am proud of the Europe that Britain has helped to create.
Project Fear plays on xenophobia and hatred, but I actually like mixing with people from other European states.
Project Fear claim our NHS is in danger, but every expert states that the economic impact of not remaining in the EU would seriously damage our NHS.
The Britain I believe in is a united union of nation states working together for the common good, oddly that is also the Europe I believe in. If anything the EU is the natural progression of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, democratic states pooling our sovereignty and resources to tackle poverty, ignorance and conformity.
There are those who say that Nato has delivered peace in Europe, and it has contributed, but the reality is that it was the economic muscle of the EU that brought down the Berlin Wall, not the military might of NATO. It was the prospect of prosperity within the EU that ended the Balkan wars, not the prospect of military intervention (that had already happened).
We have peace in Northern Ireland, and the UK as a whole, because we pool and share our sovereignty with the Republic of Ireland within the European Union.
I am going to go one further than the timid politicians leading the Remain campaign. I am going to say that I want to see a United States of Europe. Strong, economically and culturally vibrant and playing its rightful place in leading the world to a peaceful co-existence with each other and with the planet on which we live.
Think of the scientific advances in the last few years that have come about because of co-operation across European boundaries: Graphene, Cerne, The European Space Agency, and drugs to combat HIV and now even Cancer. It is no co-incidence that the greatest human advances in science and technology have come about at the same time as the EU.
Project fear are scared of being part of a bigger stronger democratic union, they hark back to an Empire long gone; a special relationship with a USA that tells us we will be at the back of the queue for any trade deals; trading agreements with a Commonwealth that we already have agreements with and which urges us to stay in the EU.
Don’t let Project Fear, Project Xenophobia, and Project Little Britain win tomorrow.