I have finally come to a decision about Brexit. I have read many articles, opinion pieces, listened to different views, tested my own tentative feelings out in discussion and generally felt anxious, upset and discombobulated by my instinctive reaction that the EU is not what it should be and needs desperate reform. I really don’t like the way it has treated Ireland and Greece. I don’t like the emphasis on corporate business and financial interests. I don’t like the support it gives banks as opposed to citizens. I do think people feel removed from the powers that be in the EU and reform is needed. I am not sure the Euro is ever going to work unless there is a common fiscal policy. I do believe in the power of local government in terms of empowering the individual and our ability to change our own lives so am not sure about supra-national powers (unless we become the United States of Europe and even then I would not be sure).

But I do believe in networking, co-operation, working together for change. I do think that change is more likely if we come together. If we are alone, outside of Europe, we cannot make change, and I do believe the likes of UKIP, Boris Johnson, and Gove in their personal bids for power will lead us into disarray, and further fragment our society and our values around human rights. I think the Schengen agreement is good, I believe in the social charter provisions, I am not sure about the Euro. But I do not think the Commission strips any of its members of our identity. Whether I like it or not, there is an English streak within me. That is why I would vote to remain on Thursday.

kate garden


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