Should we stay or should we go?

Since I now have somewhat of a healthy number of followers, I’m interested to find out what you all think about the referendum in the UK. Voting will take place tomorrow and while I know which way I’m going, I am always open to what others might have to say. So, I’ll put it to the vote. Should we leave the EU or should we remain? Comments are also most welcome. I have quite a few international subscribers, so it would be great if you could perhaps state from which country you are voting.

22 Comments Add yours

  1. If I may, I guess that’s says it all …… my British friends and I find it hilarious, hopefully you have the same sense of humor. Other wise please accept my apologee. Honestly remain in Europe !

    1. Hi,
      I saw this video, very funy stuff!

  2. Marta Pombo says:

    This decision is obviously left to the British people. I am not British. This is not my election but I do have an opinion as a European citizen and, moreover, as a human being. I understand the British being worried about the immense power of Germany ruling the EU. We all know there are historical reasons to keep us all worried (2nd World War, the Nazis). That is why I consider that a good understanding at least between France and Germany is basic, in order to keep the balance.

    I also understand the British being worried about their local economy, the immigration policies and the coming of so many refugees. The EU needs a profound radical change. Nowadays it is a purely economic superstructure that resulted from a union of nation states, instead of people states where minorities are being respected and not aniquilated through assimilation.

    The EU project needs a real human rights policy to face the many problems, especially the refugee crisis that results from wrong policies by leaders like Bush, Blair, Aznar… just to name a few.

    All these reasons would speak of the need for the British to want out. However, if there were a Brexit, perhaps the evidence of the EU project’s failure would compel all of us, Europeans, to start from zero again, instead of carrying out the profound radical change I am talking about. It is a change that can only come from all Europe’s civil society, all of us united, pushing those leaders, forcing them peacefully to change their wrong policies.

    Maybe I am being too utopic? But I am a Catalan. Many of us want Catalonia to become an independent state in Europe. The Spanish government denied us a referendum while the Scots were given the chance. That happened because Spain is even a less democratic state. In Britain democracy works a little bit better.

    If the British leave the EU it could damage our Catalan interests as well because it would weaken the European project and what we need is to keep it but transform it radically. We, Catalans, need a strong project that recognizes our independence in the future, in a peaceful and democratic way. Nation states are in crisis and we will have more people states in the short/long run. I can well imagine Scotland holding a new referendum on independence and winning it next time.

    What we need is the lesser of the two evils. Probably a Brexit would be a major evil in this sense. However, the decision is up to you.

    1. Visca el Barça i Visca Catalunya

      1. MOMENTS says:

        Thank you = gràcies. Now, after the Brexit option has won, this is what I can say: The positive thing about the Brexit referendum is that it has left the ultimate decision to the civil society. Isn’t that how real democracy is supposed to work? The result shows the negative side of the problem as it evidences the EU project’s failure, nowadays a pure economic union of nation states, instead of people states, that has turned into a capitalist superstructure, sovereignty-robbing. On the other hand, Europe needs either a profoundly reformed project or a new one starting from zero where real human rights policies become priority such as the refugee crisis and dealing with the increasing poverty of many citizens. Moreover, a well-functioning Europe is absolutely necessary to keep a balance of forces in our world today. We will see how the Brexit affects the nearer EU’s future.

  3. Simon says:

    It’s to remain – it’s about whether or not we have a voice in the EU, not about immigration or if the EU is corrupt etc…
    I also could not bring myself to side with that idiot Farage.

  4. I was just thinking the other day that as much as I love your pics, I hope you haven’t surrendered the writing. Was hoping you might have views on this. I’m currently resident in Northern Ireland so there are all sorts of heebie jeebies about potential borders and the usual twisted tribal allegiances have worked their way into it. Pledging the referendum in the first place seems like a spectacular case of shooting themselves in the foot.

    1. My one overall impression from this entire episode is that nuance and sensible debate in political conversation is pretty much dead. Last night’s BBC debate was utterly shambolic. E.g. Do you have differing opinions to mine? Then you must be a racist! The English language has really taken a beating over the last decade or so.

      1. You’re spot on. All a bit depressing.

  5. Julie says:

    I say go and let them woo you back.

  6. I am definitely in…..Someone else sent me the John Oliver video with accompanying song…which I loved and said it all for me. Janet:)

  7. American living in Spain so I really shouldn’t even comment, but remain.

  8. Sean Munger says:

    I’m an American and thus can’t vote. But I do think I can express an opinion, as Britain is our most important ally, and a vote to exit the EU would be a serious blow to the integrity of that alliance.

    As a historian, I’m unaware of any historical situation in which a country’s fortunes improved as a result of pursuing an isolationist economic and foreign policy instead of embracing integration. One need only look at how the USA turned inward after the First World War to see how bad an idea it was to curtail its engagement with the world.

    As someone deeply concerned about climate change, I also think that a “Brexit” would seriously harm very badly needed international efforts to curtain carbon emissions and deal with the ravages of climate change. So much of what we need to do on this front is economic, and a weakened EU will be hobbled in its efforts to tackle this increasingly serious problem.

    UK: please, please, please vote remain. It’s not just you. The rest of the world needs you in the EU.

  9. pickledwings says:

    I’m a Canadian living in the Czech Republic. I have no vote, but I know several British expats. Listening to their concerns and taking in what I see through various media outlets; whatever there may be for Britain to gain by leaving, those gains will be nullified many times over by the losses that would occur.

    Having lived in an EU country for over a decade, I certainly have had time to see where the EU needs to improve its practices and relations with the individual states that form it. These problems will not be solved by member states leaving.

    If the EU is to fix its shortcomings, the best way is for the member states to stick together and pressure those in the more senior states and in Brussels to make those changes.

    The UK will only be shooting itself in the foot by leaving.

  10. awtytravels says:

    I used – in a previous life – to be a researcher on the EU, and to me this whole debate is stunning by its senselessness. If I’m allowed to do a shameless plug, I synthesised what options Britain would have when leaving the EU, and why none of them make sense. You can find it here:
    I tried to be as super partes as I can, even though a part of me thinks that, without Britain, the EU would work a lot better.

  11. Stay!

    I would generally love for there to be more pressing topics than terrorists,gun control and Brexit right now, but I can’t help but share my opinion…right after binging on Al Jazeera…:)

    Within my friendship group, many are looking to purchase their first homes, but have realized that the idea of house prices falling only leads to a negative wealth effect( people feeling they have less money with means less spending,and less consumption meaning less jobs needed, thus possibly causing unemployment etc), so the Leave campaign ‘promise’ of house prices falling,due to a fall in the pound just feels like closing a loophole only to discover another loophole just as affecting as the previous.

    Also, I come from a very multi-cultural background. Having been raised by a black Nigerian mother and a Swiss/Indian step-father, both of whom denounced nationalism of any sort. The white Genocide movements that have developed albeit quite small stronghold(using Brexit as a platform) have been just as amusing as they’re sick. I worry about those people. They bring this quote by Arundathi Roy to mind.

    “Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.”

    1. That was very insightful, thank you.

  12. owen-tilley says:

    Great idea to run a poll – I’ve just published an article on (under ‘news’) on the subject from Down Under – if you have time, drop by and check it out…

  13. I’m a UK voter – I guess if you read my posts you will know my reasons for voting ‘leave’. I read in the last few days opinion which says ‘old’ people should not have been allowed to vote: this is cause for concern, I guess, because disenfranchising an entire segment on grounds that they don’t agree with you debases democracy. Maybe ‘old heads’ have wisdom to impart, and young idealism much to learn.
    I know the federalist European dream is misconceived, and I have memory of the time before it was spawned in Das Kapital. Other than the Immigration chestnut, I had many reasons to vote to leave, and could think of no constructive reason to stay; hence….

    1. Marta says:

      I think I understand the main reasons for voting either Leave or Remain. I also empathize with younger and older voters. It all depends from which perspective you look at a problem. However, what we all cannot deny is that the European project is not working. Of course, and I totally agree with you, Frederick, the federalist conception is just a dream. As I have already said in this forum, the EU has turned into a capitalist superstructure, ruled by the banks and progressively robbing the sovereignty of its member states. It is a purely economic union of nation states instead of people states. Nation states are based on the 18th-century model coming from the Enlightenment, they are centralistic and disregard their peoples. Two clear examples of this are France and Spain. Their central governments oppress minorities. Because of all I have said, we need a European project that addresses all these matters that are closely linked with the problems of the increasing differences between rich and poor people and the refugee crisis. We need a European project to address all that and to counteract the other forces in our world: the USA and the other world powers. We need a balance because we urgently need to stop wars, to go to the root of the probems, to stop so many people from suffering and dying, to stop racism and xenophobic political parties. The latter arise because traditional parties are failing us. The big question is: What shall we do in Europe? I can only see two possibilities: either a profound reform of the present EU or the creation of a new structure. I would personally prefer the first because the second looks more difficult. The Brexit should help reform the EU to turn it into a union of people states, a real federation that once and for all establishes urgent human rights policies. And Europe’s civil society has to be the peaceful revolution to achieve this. Each one of us should not sit on the couch at home but be an active part of this process. I strongly believe in peaceful and democratic change. Sadly enough, it is when things get a little bit worse that many citizens finally become aware of this need. Well, let us have some hope.

  14. The difficulty is, in my view, the large number (now 27) of member nations with very little shared agenda except a desire to improve their national circumstances. Otherwise they share nothing, not even a language. Wealth is unevenly distributed, democratic principles vary widely and sometimes wildly, and sovereignty is, whether openly admitted or not, equally vital to each. Schengen is a disaster, because free movement of people simply means population shift towards the wealthiest economies, (and consequently eventually the impoverishment of those economies) and a reverse shift, until everyone hits the lowest common denominator. Meanwhile, the security implications are frightening.
    There are all sorts of idealistic solutions but they each founder on the rocks of the Franco-German alliance. Neither nation will surrender their perceived supremacy. Forty years ago I was a convinced European, and in many ways I still am; but I have watched and learnt.

    If there were a way to reform it, to allow the less affluent to improve their lot I would gladly vote to remain, but I see no evidence the big players will ever yield an inch in favour of equality. I suspect there is no motivation there. And my judgement is shared: the state of the Euro, the struggles of the ailing economies, the persistent interventions by Germany and the reliance upon the ECB, all militate against rescuing this wallowing hulk. It is becalmed in a Sargasso Sea of unrelated issues, I fear, and destined to slowly rot away.

  15. Thank you for your articulate and well reasoned comments.

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