Monday, 20 June 2016
Vote Remain, for a positive UK future
The biggest reason, the most fundamental reason, is the message. What do Vote Leave or Vote Remain results say to ourselves?
We need a strong Vote Remain result to show we are a positive, inclusive country that belongs in Europe and that we reject fear, hate and divison.
Neither official campaigns have been positive. But the Vote Leave campaign has been appalling.
As their arguments have failed on the economy, Vote Leave have relied more and more on their trump card: exploiting fear and hatred of foreigners, refugees and immigrants to justify leaving the EU.
A Vote Leave result would be a result for the foreigner-bashers and the hatemongers who lay all our problems at the door of immigrants, refugees and the EU. They do not represent us. We are better than that.
A lot of the British working class and poor have been sold flat-out lies by people like Farage, Gove, Boris and Patel - far-right Conservatives who are committed to cutting the welfare state, not improving it. "We'll cut the NHS, but Vote Leave for us and we'll save it!" As if. They are opportunists and fear-mongers. We are better than that.
The EU isn't perfect, but it does a lot for us, and we do a lot for it.
The Vote Leave campaign has always been "What's in it for US?!" It is a negative, selfish view.
The Remain campaign has answered that question, showing the huge economic benefits of being in, versus the giant problems and risks of both leaving - and then being out.
But equally important is a better attitude. The EU is a community of countries, and Britain both contributes and benefits from being a member. That's how communities work.
Yes, we can and should be at the forefront of the EU. The EU needs constant pressure to reform so that it remains accountable. But there are other countries in the EU and they also benefit and contribute. They are not better or worse than us. That's what it means to be a community.
It's so important this week to remind ourselves and each other of who we think we are, and what we believe in.
That we're an inclusive country, not a divisive one.
That we want to engage with Europe and fix things co-operatively, instead of turning our back and walking away.
That we choose economic stability and reality, instead of nonsense sold by thieves and opportunists.
That we won't let fearmongers and the politics of hate decide our country's future.
Get out, vote, and vote Remain for a positive UK.