Here, in no particular order, are just some reasons why I’m voting to #Remain 

1. Free movement of people: I like that I could study, work, live and retire anywhere in the EU without the need for visas and other paperwork. I like that I can get free health care while travelling in the EU, I like that I don’t have to pay duty on beer, wine and gin etc. And I like that from next year, I also won’t have to pay roaming charges on my mobile.

2. The economy: I haven’t heard a single independent economist say we would be better off outside of the EU. 

3. Sovereignty: Well there has certainly been a load of misinformation about this. You’d think everything we say or do was controlled by Brussels. Boris, Gove, IDS and Farage should perhaps check Wikipedia. The UK has kept its sovereignty over monetary policy, education, the NHS, welfare, defence (although it shares sovereignty in NATO), and border security (we never signed the Schengen Agreement). However, as an EU member the UK considers it beneficial to pool with other EU member states, its sovereignty on issues such as trade, employment rights, environmental protection, consumer protection and food standards. 

4. The people in the Leave campaign: Almost entirely made up of hard right Tory politicians, their post Brexit utopia of a well-funded NHS is just not credible. They are not about to go on a public spending spree if we leave the EU because: (a) they won’t have the money – EU costs less than 1% of total public expenditure, (b) the economy will suffer (so again, no money), and (c) They are most certainly not socialists. Indeed, they are neoliberal conservatives who voted for public spending cuts, privatisation and austerity as a member of, or in support of, the current government.

5. Fear for the future: If we vote to leave it will be seen as a victory for the hard right. Farage and his followers will say their anti-immigrant stance has been legitimised; and it will pave the way for a more intolerant society. Pressure on infrastructure is not the fault of immigration, but years of failure by successive governments – Tory and New Labour – to build affordable houses, properly fund public services, and empower communities and civil society to act for the common good.

6. We live in an increasingly connected and inter-dependent world, with common problems from which we can find shared solutions. Going it alone is surely a big risk. Even Norway, often held up as an example of a non-EU country, recognises the need for cooperation since it pays into the EEA to access the single market, and in return accepts the social and economic rules including free movement of people.

(Note: For the avoidance of doubt, any similarity above with anything Cameron has said on the referendum is just a coincidence, as I’m definitely not a Tory).


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Sometimes cynical, sometimes angry, often despondent, green and red.

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