Today, Britain is in an exceedingly enviable position when compared to other nations. Our economy is strong. We are a member of NATO, the Commonwealth and the Security Council of the UN. In Europe, we have negotiated a position outside the Eurozone but inside the single market. We maintain our border controls but are free to work, study and live in any EU Member State. We can veto new Countries joining the EU. Why then would Britain want to walk away from an enviable position?
The up and coming referendum on EU membership is not a popularity contest. There’s no rubbing of a lamp expecting a genie to pop-out and grant our wishes. It about cold hard facts concerning what is best for the whole of Britain, now and in the long-term.
Do we trade the advantages listed above for an unknown destination? Is our good fortune so wrapped in pride that we are blind to major risks? Do we lack confidence in our ability to get our way in Europe? Yes, these questions are uncomfortable but the outcome of this national referendum may be an unavoidable fork in the road.
I do sense that one aspect of the argument to leave the EU is a lack of confidence in the British people. This in my mind is foolish. Over the last 40 years, I have met and worked with just as many capable, clever and talented British people as I have from any of the other EU Member States.
The great achievement of the EU is that we are all so much more effective when we are working together, as a team, for a common purpose. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to be able to put together world-class teams across Europe. This helps us sustain our jobs, industries and wealth in a rapidly changing world.
Throwing our advantages away for little tangible benefit is an incredibly high-risk move. It’s much better to apply ourselves to making the EU work better rather than to go where no-one knows and to do it without a sound plan.