The to Brexit or not to Brexit campaign has now officially started.
President Obama says, diplomatically, that the EU is good for the UK and the UK is good for the EU, for US/UK relations and for the wider world generally. Ulrich Speck of the Transatlantic Academy says that Britain’s liberal global outlook is needed by the EU.
Those wanting Brexit, principally Ukip, the Tory Right and those Oldies who seem to think the globe is still painted imperial pink, are effectively in denial.
They say Britain is not in control of its borders. Wrong. It is not party to the Schengen Agreement promoting the free movement of peoples.
They claim the UK can go it alone economically. Wrong. China and India both have populations of over a billion and growing, sophisticated work forces.
The UK has sixty-four million.
As part of the EU it has a home market of half a billion – a home market without trade barriers and with some of the richest customers in the world.
Brexiters claim Britain would be safer outside the EU. Wrong.
General Sir Michael Jackson, former Chief of the General Staff, states that we are safer In than Out. He should know.
It is tedious and unappealing to many people to trade statistics. However, three days ago the Treasury said the economy would be six per cent smaller if Britain were to leave the EU. The hard-headed businessmen of the CBI like the single market. The City enjoys being Europe’s financial centre. Perhaps they know the value as well as the cost of the EU membership.
Campaigners for the Out brigade are effectively declaring war on their children and grandchildren. The young overwhelmingly support Remain.
Locally, in Wealden, this was borne out by sixth formers at Uckfield Community Technology College and Bede’s School. During MEP Catherine Bearder’s recent visit to the two schools the sixth formers overwhelmingly wanted the UK to remain in the EU.
Unfortunately they have no vote even though the result of the summer referendum poll will affect them for the rest of their lives.
They are encouraged to persuade their grandparents to vote with their interests in mind.
After all, the effects, no matter the referendum result, will not be felt by the Oldies for decades!
The referendum is vastly more important than a general election.
People must vote, particularly the under-35s who, according to a recent poll, support Remain, but are not committed to turning out to vote. The Oldies are committed.
Sussex Express readers will face a momentous moment of destiny in two months’ time. Will they vote objectively for a bright future or side with the Gang of Three: Gove, Farage, Johnson?
Chairman, Wealden Lib Dems