Okay, so I may not know where you are right now, or where you’re from, but I’m British. I live in England, somewhere a bit north of London, and as I turned 18 last year, I’ll be voting in the referendum as to whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union.
Firstly, I’d like to point out something: I’m both a history student and a geography student. As a result, I know not only a fair deal about current events, but I also know a heck of a lot about the last couple of hundred years – around the world. And let me tell you something else – we, the UK, are extremely different from America. Not to say America’s bad in any way, but you’ll see why this is important if you read the rest of this post.
If you don’t understand what exactly the points are that David Cameron has persuaded the EU to agree on, in terms of benefits for Britain – kind of ‘perks’ that we’d have, which are different to the other member nations – check out this BBC article.
Now we can get down to it.
I think there’s a lot of people who are thinking something along the lines of “if we vote no, the EU will spring out a better deal for us to take last-minute.” That’s not true. This vote should be taken seriously – if we vote to go out, that’s final: we’re out. And that would leave Britain in a very precarious position. To put it in perspective, this is where America comes in: America is, on the whole, isolationist. This means that, and this can be traced throughout its history, it is a country who prides itself on being independent, and keeping its attention away from world affairs. Where it doesn’t have to get involved, it doesn’t. This happened in the early 1900s, when Britain lost the Gold Standard and during the depression years, America could well have stepped up to become a controller of the world economy, but it decided not to. It’s the reason they didn’t involve themselves in either of the World Wars until they had to.
In stark juxtaposition, Britain has never been isolationist. We are the country who have been involved in just about every single major world event that has ever taken place. We communicate freely with other countries, we are the strong, stubborn little island who has pretty much always had a say in everything. More than this, though, we’re a small country – relatively. We don’t have the resources to keep ourselves going as an isolationist nation. We need the trade, the co-operation and the information from other nations, we need to keep up links with other countries in order to maintain our strength. And as such a historically influential country, we need to keep these relationships because our country has a duty that comes with our strength and reliability.
We vote to leave the EU, we vote to leave behind our strength. That’s what that equates to.
More directly relevant, though, is this: as a member of the EU right now, and with the deal that Cameron has reached with the EU, Britain won’t become part of the “ever closer union”. This is good for us – we keep our currency, we keep our trade links, we keep our freedom of movement, of communication, the co-operation, and we aren’t bound by the tighter legislation and rules that the majority of the EU’s members are (and will be). If we vote yes, we ensure our safety.
Interestingly, everyone I’ve spoken to about the EU referendum who is around my age has been dead-set on voting we stay in. Everyone over the age of roughly 35 has either been unsure, or decided to vote out. This isn’t just a narrow observation, either – there are statistics about it here. And – you may have guessed it by now – I’ll be voting to stay in. And I’m hoping that everyone else decides the same. So please, if you’re 18 or older, and you’re able to vote in this referendum, vote to stay in. I’m not a politician, I don’t have any ulterior motive, I’m just an A Level student who pays attention to the world. And, to sound really patriotic, for the sake of our country, we can’t leave the EU.
And don’t forget – feel free to leave your opinion in the comments!
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