The clock is ticking

It’s the biggest event since the Berlin Wall fell. Yes, not to mince my words the UK referendum on EU membership could change the political landscape for a generation or more. It could be a terrible gamble that erects dark walls all over Europe or it could start a new period of enlightenment within the European project.
I’m firmly convinced that our place is in Europe. We are strong enough, we are clever enough and we are determined enough to make that project work. What a bonus that would be: Expanding a market that covers half a billion people on our doorstep. Guaranteeing that the world sits-up and listens to Europe. Unlocking a diverse creative powerhouse where the UK would thrive.
The frightening alternative is to gamble with millions of jobs and invite a plunge into recension. If this happens it’s the younger generation who will pay the price. We should not condemn them to isolation and struggle for reasons of narrow nationalism.
I’m not saying the EU is perfect. In fact, I wouldn’t say Westminster or my local council are perfect – far from it. But the EU is a work-in-progress and not a finished project. It’s better for British pragmatism. It’s a two-way street as free movement brings people to these shores who then go home with a positive view of what we have to offer. In the next generation that means more trade and better international relations.
This referendum needs thinking about. Voting on the basis of yesterday’s headline could invite a nightmare of unimaginable proportions. Let’s fight our corner in Europe.

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