The EU stinks because it mirrors the UK
The EU is a big bloated mess but I’m voting to remain.
I am tempted to vote leave because I agree with a lot of the criticisms of the European Union, however the leave campaign have failed to convince me. The alternative they offer will not solve the problems that have made so many angry. The same fundamental issue that blights the EU also damages the UK. This issue is a lack of representation with leaders working more in the interests of large corporations than the interest of the majority of their citizens.
The EU is not undemocratic as decisions are made by consensus by elected representatives of the member states. The UK has great power within these negotiations and the EU has more power than the UK could have alone. In order to change the EU we need to change the UK system to make it more representative. This will help to solve inequality at home and will also help to reform the EU from the inside.
Here are my main problems with Brexit:
- There is no democratic gain from voting leave. I believe most of the issues pushing people towards leave are caused by failures of representation. Our democracy is far too skewed towards the needs of the rich and powerful. However, unlike in the Scottish referendum whereby a Yes vote would have resulted in a more democratic proportional system, leaving the EU still results in us being governed by parties that only a small percentage of the people voted for. We also have a undemocratic second chamber in the UK as well as a culture of lobbying and corporate party funding. If the Brexiteers were talking about constitutional reform they may have persuaded me. However they are not and this is because…
- The Brexiteers are the establishment. Regardless of them repeating over and over that they are not. The leaders are mostly public schoolboys who are lifelong disciples of the market. They have spent their entire lives trying to move power from the masses to the few, from the worker to the corporations. So no matter how much they pretend to be on the side of the working person, they really want to get rid of the EU in order to make it easier to disenfranchise you.
- The tone of the leave campaign has been highly racist, blaming all of our troubles on hoards of immigrants and not the true cause: the greed of, and poor governance by, the rich.
- There is no real plan for a post Brexit UK. In the Scottish referendum a white paper was published and was scrutinised fully by the press and unionists. There has been very little serious debate about life post Brexit. People seem to believe we can dump Brussels and sort out hundreds of complex negotiations in 2 years and end up in a better position, however this is not an opinion based on reality.
I urge you to watch this short video below by a Professor of EU law. He points out that many of the things said by the leave campaign amount to ‘dishonesty on an industrial scale’.
His main points are:
- The UK IS a sovereign state and the UK government and courts ARE the highest level of power.
- Membership of the EU allows the UK to have greater influence than it would have if it was out of it. This is because the UK is one of the biggest players in the EU. Instead of being bullied by the EU the UK shapes the EU, so many problems with the EU are caused in part by the UK.
- Although many leave campaigners describe the EU as undemocratic, decisions the EU makes are mostly made by consensus, compromise and negotiation between the member countries.
- There is an enormous amount of scientific evidence to show that member states and UK stakeholders are better off within the EU. Although there are many areas that need reform this reform can only be achieved from the inside.
We don’t have a clue what will happen after Brexit although leaving presents some serious but largely glossed over challenges:
There will need to be a comprehensive review of the UK legal system which can’t be done by parliament. It will be done by a delegation of power to a right-wing neocon government that far less than half of us voted for. The changes will be completed over a short sharp period, most likely damaging our hard fought freedoms due to the ideological leanings of those involved.
- It will have dramatic constitutional consequences in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Nobody knows what will happen to UK citizens in Europe and European citizens in the UK.
- The timeframe for negotiating a new framework with the EU is around 10 years. Not the two years the media parrots.
- If we leave the EU we would either have to leave the single market or go for the ‘Norwegian Option’. Leaving altogether puts up trade barriers. However the Norwegian Option means we would have the obligations, free movement and cost of being in the EU without the power.
- When we leave the EU we lose our trade deals with non EU countries as they have been negotiated through the EU. Negotiating that many trade deals in one short period is logistically very difficult. Outside of the EU we don’t have the same bargaining power as we do within.
So there you have it. There is little point voting Brexit because the alternative is no more democratic and the consequences have not been fully thought out and scrutinised. We will end up stuck in an undemocratic system with people most of us didn’t vote for making massive decisions about our future in a rushed time frame.
However, by sorting out the UK democratic deficits we can make the UK a better place to live. And we could use our power within the European Union to change that institution as well.
It would be great to read some comments below.