Please remain Great Britain

Stuart Bruce speaking up for Remain against Leave.EU CEO Liz Bilney.

Please vote remain so it continues to be Great Britain.

This blog post has been through countless iterations over the last few weeks. I’ve toned down the passion. I’ve stepped up the passion. I’ve added facts. I’ve removed facts.

Nothing comes close to expressing what I truly feel.

I’m terrified. I’m petrified that the country I love will be irrevocably broken.

And I truly don’t understand any of the arguments of the Leave campaign as each and every one is a lie. No ifs, no buts. A big fat lie.

There will never be £350m to spend on anything. For a start we don’t send that much to Europe. And some of what we do send we get back. Much of what we don’t get back is spent on things that benefit the UK so we’d have to pay for ourselves or lose. Let alone the fact that we get economic benefit from being a EU member and even a one percent drop would be more money than we can ever save (and remember we can’t actually save it so we’d be even worse off). And you’d have to be insane to believe that Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove would really invest it in the NHS rather than using as it as tax cuts for their establishment chums.

And then there’s the elephant in the room. Immigration. I totally get why it’s a problem. You couldn’t go out knocking on doors or running street stalls where I live without knowing it’s a problem. But, here’s the thing. Leaving the EU won’t make a blind bit of difference to reducing immigration. Leave blithely tell us it would be easy to renegotiate a trade deal with the EU. And you know what? They are probably right. It won’t be half as hard as the Remain campaign claim. They need us. We need them. Simples.

But do you know what? It would be more on their terms than ours. Why? Because together they are bigger and stronger than we would be alone. And part of the deal would be the same as the deal with Norway and Switzerland. Free movement of labour. Yes, that’s right the very thing many people are voting to leave for would come back in via the back door. Except this time our British workers wouldn’t have the same employment rights and protection as they have now as the free market leave campaigners would start by removing employment protection. So we’d be worse off on immigration than we are now. Brilliant Boris, you win a straight banana (EU myth 937).

Ah, but what about democracy and sovereignty  I can hear you saying. What about democracy and sovereignty? For all its faults (and there are many) the EU is more democratic than the unelected House of Lords. Part of the reason people think it’s undemocratic is because it is so democratic it’s complicated to explain. Legislation has to pass both the elected European Parliament and the Council of Ministers made up of elected heads of government. And then often it also has to be implemented and approved by the UK parliament (including our unelected House of Lords!). Oh and then the Queen usually has to sign it! That last bit is really important as the most important part of Great Britain’s democracy is our unelected head of state giving Royal Assent. Go figure.

When I did the national TV debate on Monday might I and my opponent, the CEO of Leave.EU, were asked to sum up in 30 seconds what the main issue that people will vote on would be.

She said immigration. I’ll leave you to draw whatever interpretation you what from that. I know what mine is.

I said the economy.

In the privacy of the ballot box people will vote with their wallets and purses. Harold Wilson’s “the pound in your pocket”.

What’s the point of having less immigrants in your town if you don’t have a job or a decent wage anymore?

Why don’t I make the positive case for Europe I can hear you asking (well someone at least)? Quite simply because that’s not what people ask me about. The lies of the leave campaign have become so ingrained in this debate that whenever you start to make the many, many positives of EU membership then people always politely (or often rudely) stop you and start asking about the lies.

But actually you can put all the arguments about facts to one side because there is one killer fact that means remain is the only sensible thing to do.

We are stronger together than we are alone.

See I told you we are stronger together than we are alone.

So I’d urge you from the bottom of my heart to vote with your brain and your heart. Vote Remain.

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