Shake it all about #brexit #remain
(For international readers – the UK is deciding whether to remain in the European Union or to exit. The vote is on 23 June. I haven’t particularly decided what to vote yet. Leaning to “out”, I think. Which means we’ll likely stay in as I never back the winning horse, politically speaking.)
A month from now it’ll all be over.
A month before the Scottish Referendum I wiz up tae high doh, but with the European Referendum, mais, comme ci comme ca.
Although that’s not how the politicans are presenting it, as they turn on one other with a variety of ways to get to hell in a hand cart.
I don’t think there’ll be a Brexit. I think there’ll be a status quo, but maybe that’s because the Indyref had that result. People like stability.
But how to vote?
Initially it was less about what I want to vote and more about how that could have a knock on effect in Scotland. What I don’t want is ‘EnglandandWales’ dragging us out of the European Union and for Salmond and Co to reach for their smackeroonies to invest in another campaign for Indyref 2.0.. I couldn’t take a sudden onset/relapse of referendum fatigue.
I thought that David Cameron had the strategy right: get reform in the EU negotiated, then vote on it. But when he got back from negotiations, it didn’t sound that great. In fact, it sounded more random and pointless than I had ever realized. For example, if you go and live in another country, you still get your British child benefit payments. That seems nuts to me.
But other people think it’s a great idea. Big chunks of money for farmers and business parks and cultural centres. But the money goes out and the money comes back. So they might as well not send it and then just give it to the farmers and development agencies and things without sending it to Brussels first, and if the government stuff it up we can vote them out and get a new lot in.
Because that is democratic.
And I think that’s the heart of the matter.
With the Scottish Referendum, that was the point. Democracy in Scotland didn’t feel democratic as the whole place voted Labour and got some Conservative governments. So we had the referendum and it was democratic and the majority favoured the status quo. But it still didn’t feel democratic. So everyone voted SNP and they got… a Conservative government.
The European Union isn’t democratic, I believe. Once you’re in, you can’t vote “them”out. I don’t know who “they” are. And “they” can decide things that used to be “our” decision.
And then it comes back to that, does it? “Our” decisions; who is “us”? – it’s a matter of identity – am I Scottish, British, European – or all three?
I feel Scottish in real life, British if it’s the Olympics and European when I am on a European city break. But if we left the European Union, I’d still feel as European as that, I think. It might be more hassle to go to Amsterdam for fish and cup of tea than it is now, but I am sure it would still be perfectly possible.
So, I think what I want to know is the “Remain” argument. What is good about being in the European Union?
I don’t believe the economic scare stories – the world is a big place if things go pear-shaped locally. I reckon there would be a weird dip in the transition phase, but I think an all-hands-to-the-pump ethic would allow things to right themselves in a few years.
What I also wonder is whether or not the European Union has maybe overreached itself and that a Brexit might signal the turning of the EU tide.
But I don’t think there’ll be a Brexit.