So on the eve of the referendum, one of the most important questions that we will face in our lifetime, here’s my 2 cents. I’m a digital marketer, so I spend a lot of time on social media. I also have an interest in politics. The combination of the two, lately, has been fairly painful. As British citizens, we have a monumental decision to make tomorrow. I’ve seen a lot of panic, condescension and resignation on social media and it spurred me on to note down a few things that I think are important to remember when you arrive in your polling booth with your poll card and sharpened pencil in hand.
1. Go with your gut. You have to vote as your conscience dictates. This is a huge decision – either outcome is going to change the path of Great Britain immeasurably and you have to be at peace with your decision- take neither option lightly. We will not have this opportunity again. Either you vote to leave the European Union and regain sovereignty, democracy and control of our judicial system. Or vote remain to become more entrenched in the European Union – to what end exactly is just as uncertain as leaving the union. It is naïve to believe that remaining a part of the EU is the ‘safe’ option – there is no telling where Brussels is steering the course of the EU, and voting remain will relinquish our powers further.
2. Voting Leave and euro scepticism are not the preserve of jingoistic right wingers or tweed wearing nationalists. The question of whether or not we leave or remain a part of the EU is not a nationalistic argument – it is a democratic one. I know the name of my elected MP and my elected Prime Minister; I do not know the name of my unelected MEP. If you value democracy, then welcome the conversation. There are many prominent Labour and various other left wing politicians who oppose being part of the European Union. Tony Benn was famously euro sceptical. Barbara Castle and Dennis Skinner are also noted Labour Euro sceptics, and Kate Hoey is also backing the Leave campaign.
3. We are not alone in questioning our EU membership. Many EU countries are questioning their positions within the EU and a recent study by Ipsos Mori found that nearly half of citizens in eight European Union countries, including France and Italy, want a referendum on their position in the union. This is not a question of ‘little Englander’ syndrome – this is a feeling that is widespread across Europe.
4. The EU is not thriving, it is stagnating. The only continent with weaker economic growth is Antarctica. If you homogenise all the nations in Europe, wilfully ignoring their strengths and weaknesses, and expect them to contribute equally, this is the result.
The reason that I am voting to leave is bigger than how much worse or better off a month every household will be, which goods will cost more or whether it will be slightly less convenient to get travel insurance. There is a much larger, overarching issue here, and that is the insidious dilution of democracy and the loss of our sovereignty. If you value democracy, then you must vote leave. This is irrefutable, and this is why I will be voting to leave the EU tomorrow.