Should Britain stay or leave the European Union after the Brexit vote?
As I have explained in previous posts, I am firmly convinced that Britain should stay inside the European Union. There are many reasons – economic, political, social – that lead me to this conclusion.
To begin and lest we forget, the European Union was founded out of revulsion for the disaster and misery of the two great world wars – 1914 to 1918 and 1939 to 1945 – that destroyed much of Europe, including whole areas of the United Kingdom.
To quote Sir Winston Churchill in 1946, “What is this sovereign remedy [to this disaster]? It is to recreate the European fabric, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safety and freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”
Subsequently, French President General de Gaulle vetoed the UK entry into the EU in 1963 and again in 1967 – largely to protect French agricultural interests and growing French economic power. National interests have often been used in the European Union to block the benefits of European co-operation.
After De Gaulle’s resignation in 1969, the way became clear for Britain’s entry – along with Denmark and Ireland – into what was then the European Economic Community in 1973. This was supported by an overwhelming majority (67%) of the British public in 1975 but narrowly rejected in June 2016 by another vote (52%).
Although there was vote to leave in 2016, we are still better off inside than outside because there is still the risk of major conflict across the European Union. The way that the older Brexit campaigners have chosen to forget about the damage done by two world wars across Europe is both surprising and deeply disturbing.
David Cameron was right when he argued that our exit from the EU increases the risks of European conflict. We should do everything that we can to reverse the Brexit decision.