The EU referendum campaign is trudging on and the key argument from both sides of the Tory campaigns is to be very afraid of the future if the other side get their way. Johnson yesterday took this further and like all heated arguments online hit the Hitler button (Guardian 15/5/16) declaring that the EU’s goals were comparable with Hitler’s. (BBC 15/5/16) This is a ‘dead cat’ story if ever I’ve heard to cover up the fact that Carney told us that Brexit could cause recession. (BBC 15/5/16)
Boris has also been quoting the lie about the £350 million that the UK ‘gives’ to the EU and that we as a country would be far better off saving this to spend on what we choose. This of course is a myth as my previous blog (DG 18/4/16) explains.
On the other side we have been told by Cameron that war is looming if we break from the EU and so peace is only achievable with remaining a member of the EU club. (Telegraph 5/8/16) This is clearly exaggerated fear-mongering and begs the question ‘if you believe this, then why did you risk Britain’s safety to end a Tory Party split?’
I fully understand that leaving the EU will have large implications and that we as an electorate need to know this, however the Tory argument either way has been so negative that I’m sure many people aren’t listening anymore. It appears that they (the Tories and maybe Westminster elites) are just fighting among themselves and feel that they need to out do each other in vitriolic hyperbole.
This is the time for Labour to ascend. Acknowledging the economic reality of the referendum is our responsibility as a serious party of government. We must now go further and put forward the positive case for the EU today, but even more so for the EU we want to build for the future. The reason I support remaining within the EU is because I believe in internationalism and cooperation and that nation states can achieve so much more when they work together. I also believe in democracy and want more accountability within Europe and I am against a United States of Europe. However leaving the EU is such a backwards step and I fear sets the UK as ‘us’ and the EU as ‘them’. EU gives us huge economic opportunity and a market place which is the envy of many other nations around the world. It has contributed greatly to our economy with many hard workers coming to graft and pay their fair share of tax. It has secured workers rights and codified health and safety regulations. It has increased the already diverse make-up of our society and made it possible for us to live and work in any other part of the EU. These reasons should be the bedrock of any progressive argument for remaining a member of the EU.
The referendum is still over a month away, now Labour must make the positive case for the EU with a hint of caution about our exit rather than the Tory visa versa.