I’ll be honest; I haven’t yet made up my mind about how to vote in the EU referendum, and I am listening closely to all sides of the argument.
Interestingly, my weekly financial digest, “Moneyweek” came out in favour of Brexit last week and for me, this is massively influential. The magazine is, of course, focussed on the economic argument (the clue is in the title!) but for me, economics is a massive factor in making this decision.
David Cameron is choosing to focus on security which is probably wise given the complexity of the economics and the strength of the UK economy compared to the rest of Europe. I think for Cumbrians, the thought of an international border at Gretna is quite sobering. Should Scotland push for a second referendum and chose to stay with Europe, we could have barbed wire at Gretna Green never mind Calais. Maybe Scotland will think twice about splitting from the UK as a result? That’s a hard one to call; nothing is a given. It’s hard to imagine all the possible scenarios and consequences.
Last year I had the pleasure of hearing John Longworth, the Direct General of the British Chamber of Commerce speak at a Cumbria Chamber Dinner. He was very pragmatic, suggesting that whatever the result, Britain would survive and prosper. He has since come out in favour of Brexit and as we go to press this morning, he has, in fact, mutually agreed to resign so the BCC can retain its non-partisan stance.
It seems strange that given my upbringing as a French-speaking, well-travelled, open minded European; I’m even considering this. Isn’t there a cultural and social dimension here, can we be Europeans outside of the EU? There is an argument for strength in numbers and certainly something to be said for the status quo, but it’s not as appealing to argue for this position as was found in the Scottish Referendum.
I think the problem is that there are too many variables to know whether we will be better to stay or go. Once we make the decision on June 23rd, in the years to come we will never be sure that it was the right decision because this is not Star Trek and there is no parallel universe where we can look and see how things panned out for the other side of the coin!
There is an element of better the devil you know, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see what that parallel universe looks like? I shall probably go into the polling booth on the day and make a decision based on my heart because, for me, the argument is just too close to call.
There are some useful links below with more on the topic.
BBC - Everything you need to know