Written by Barry Murphy
I have been following both the stay-in and get-out Brexit campaigns with interest lately, from an outsider’s philosophical point of view, and here is what I have come up with…
First of all, let me state that I believe the UK should remain in Europe, and here is why. The European Union is far from perfect, but it has achieved something that has never been achieved before – it has brought and has kept the people and governments of Europe together, and there has not been any war conflict in Europe for generations now, for the first time ever.
Also, the whole idea of building walls and barriers and creating “them and us” in any part of the world goes completely against every single core belief that I have.
- People say that the UK is contributing £8.5 billion annually to the EU. So what! This works out at £144.00 per person per year, and despite the fact that it might be spent better, it is a small price to pay to keep us all united. I also believe that this £8.5 billion is not accurate, because it doesn’t take into account the benefits to business in the UK and is only a net government figure.
- We have fought hard to gain peace in Northern Ireland after 30 years of carnage, and the thought of putting back passport controls customs on the border could have frightening consequences, with more of the “them and us” mentality. This is not scaremongering – it’s based on my own experience that I have had 30 years ago in the border areas .
- Immigration is where the get-out campaign has the strongest card to play, and they have a point to an extent. There was no integrated European plan to deal with the Syrian refugees, which is a huge downfall. Suppose all of the EU countries subscribed to building and financing holding camps in Greece for these poor people who were forced to leave their war torn country. In these camps, the refugees could be taught the language of their destination country and skills that are needed in that country. Once they were up to speed, they would end up a net benefit to their host country, contributing to the economy.
There are all kinds of stories about foreigners milking the social welfare systems of host countries, and while I am sure there are some, I am also very sure that the vast majority want to create a life for themselves independent of any handouts.
They say that there are terrorists amongst them. Of course, there are a very small percentage, but there are also a very small percentage of the UK population who are murderers and thieves. What should they do? Ban all Brits from living in the UK as well and just leave the sheep and cattle?!
It’s not the foreigners or refugees who are the problem, it’s how we in any country manage their integration in a controlled systematic way, so that we give the vast majority of decent people and families every opportunity to get on independently, contribute to our society positively, and we have to weed out the small percentage of terrorists and slackers, using every tool available to us.
In my humble opinion, I will go back to the main point here, which is that anyone who is part of building walls and barriers between human beings instead of building bridges, is on a negative road to nowhere fast. The bridges need to be designed carefully, but all bridges are better than any walls…