Why I’m voting remain: I want to live in a Britain that stands tall and proud in the world

Tomorrow I’ll be sending off my postal vote. A vote that will possibly be the most important of my lifetime.
Unsurprisingly (to those of you who know me) I’m voting for Britain to remain a member of the European Union. I’m doing so because I believe passionately in the project and what it represents.

However, I want to explain why this referendum is about so much more than whether Britain is simply a member of the EU or not. In my view it is just as much about the sort of country we see Britain as and what it’s place in the world will be.

The two routes we can choose between represent two very different images of the sort of Britain we will be:

Will it be a Britain that is the compassionate, diverse nation that welcomes the innovators and thinkers of tomorrow from across the continent? Or will it be a Britain that turns its back on its neighbours in favour of a false sense of security symbolised through the artificial barriers we have imposed on ourself?

Will it be a Britain that stands tall on the international stage as a leader in the fight to tackle the greatest threat to humanity known as climate change? Or will we be a Britain that thinks we should give legitimacy to the views of the climate deniers pushing so desperately for a leave vote?

Will it be a Britain that fights for a worker’s right to maternity leave, equal pay and sickness rights? Or will we be a Britain that submits itself to the perils of a resurgent right wing Tory party who won’t hesitate to undo those very protections we currently enjoy?

Now I understand why a leave vote might appeal to some of you. I understand the unease you may feel at Britain’s relationship with an EU that often feels distant to our every day lives and seems out of touch.

But nothing should make you feel more uneasy than the uncertainty that a leave vote brings. Because when people say it’s a once in a generation vote, they really mean it.

Undoing the democratic deficit and the problems within the EU is within our grasp and may well be possible. But undoing the result of a leave vote, if we do take it, may never be. The consequences will be everlasting.

That is why I hope you all, like me, vote for a Britain that stands tall and proud in the world. As a leading member at the heart of *our* European Union.

* Joshua Dixon is a member of the Liberal Democrats' Federal Executive writing in a personal capacity.

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17 Comments

  • I too have sent off my vote to rermain today, however people I keep talking to are not of the same persuasion. The reasons for voting leave are so diverse and to me completely out of kilter with a reasonable approach, but there it is. The wind is certainly with leave and it is blowing strong.

  • Stevan Rose 1st Jun '16 - 9:54pm

    Well said Joshua. If only the rest of Remain could speak with such conviction without resorting to nonsense and exaggeration we’d have this in the bag. Thank you.

  • Robert Wootton 1st Jun '16 - 11:21pm

    If the Brexit campaigners are successful on June 23rd, what will be the response of the Spanish and French and other governments of the EU member states. How will they treat British/English ex pats who have retired to those countries? Could they lose their entitlement to free healthcare? Would they be forced to come back to the UK? These are all unknowns.

    Whether Britain votes to stay or leave it will be painful for Britain either way. I believe we should stay in the EU but it, the EU, needs to be reconstructed according to the laws that govern the viability of organisations. A new treayt is needed that does this. A Treaty of Bideford? I live in Bideford and a Bideford town councillor.

  • Eddie Sammon 2nd Jun '16 - 12:13am

    I’m voting remain partly because I love Europe. The way some people speak about Europe you would think it was this hell hole that needed to be kept well away from us.

    I want the right to travel to Europe without difficulty and even though it isn’t very possible at the moment for me to travel there again it is still a dream and hopefully one most people can relate to. Many Europeans dream of coming to Britain too. I know I make a lot of hard headed arguments, but we also need to champion the hopes and dreams that the EU can give us and the whole continent.

    In fact the European dream is one that sadly many people are dying trying to achieve around the world. We need to help make more of the world as attractive as Europe and it can start by voting to remain and working with our partners.

  • ‘stands tall’ LOL

  • The ‘Brexit’ main plank in leaving is to play to an idea of a proud, nationalistic Britain, alone and unsullied by European interference.. If you look behind the scenes it’s a sort of Disney World with cheerful Cockneys, bluff Yorkshire folk, etc.. A land that has never existed and never will….
    I lived for 15 years in France…The French are proud, nationalistic and very FRENCH and yet do not have the problems in being in the EU that bedevil the English (I say English because I haven’t found the same resentment to the EU in Scotland/Wales)
    This resentment has been simmering within the Tory party since before we joined and now, because of the promises of a weak leader to appease an imagined threat from UKip, we have a referendum in which all the UK’s ills are blamed on the EU; a referendum in which the Brexit camp are drawing on “Rivers of Blood” and fanning the basest fears of ‘immigration’….

    I look at those leading the ‘Leave’ campaign (Johnson, Farage, Gove, IDS, etc.) and ask myself, “Do I want a UK where their values rule?”….The answer is, “NO!”…

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Jun '16 - 10:47am

    The polls have shown that a majority in Northern Ireland will vote to Remain, despite the attitude of their largest party, the DUP, founded by the late Ian Paisley.
    The DUP leader in the Commons has said in the Commons that they want to reform human rights legislation.

  • Nick Collins 2nd Jun '16 - 1:16pm

    I received my postal ballot today. It’s a bit worrying that a lot of votes will be cast by post at the very moment when, according to the latest polls, the “leavers” have nudged into the lead.

  • will we be a Britain that submits itself to the perils of a resurgent right wing Tory party who won’t hesitate to undo those very protections we currently enjoy?

    Are you really saying you want Britain to stay in the EU because you don’t trust the British public not to elect a government you disagree with?

  • The problem with the idea of a “resurgent” Right wing of the Conservative party taking over after Brexit is it’s built on conjecture and wilfully ignoring the reality that the Right already dominates that party. Without the noises made by the likes of IDS and Johnson, George Osborne would have reduced in work benefits and burdened the poor further. Osborne, in the event of a remain vote is virtually a dead cert to replace Cameron.

  • Glenn 2nd Jun ’16 – 2:39pm……… Without the noises made by the likes of IDS and Johnson, George Osborne would have reduced in work benefits and burdened the poor further……..

    Would this be the same IDS whose history since 2010 has been an almost pathological desire to reduce benefits? The idea that he had a ‘Road to Damascus’ conversion on the eve of the referendum is laughable…

  • expats,
    I agree IDS is not a good bloke, but the reality is Osborne is worse. A fact glossed over by the remain camp. My point not being that IDS is good, but that you guys keep raising the spectre of the Tory right, when the Tory right are already in power and are certainly not being contained by the EU.

  • IMO Corbyn made a very sensible and factual speech on the EU this morning. He ‘rubbished’ Osborne’s ‘project fear’ and dismissed Osborne’s outlandish warnings about the economy. He addressed both ‘immigration’ and TTIP in a factual/calm manner….

    Sadly, as usual, it’s difficult to find an unedited version in the media….

  • @ expats Yes, I was impressed with Corbyn’s dignity and lack of grandstanding too.

    As an outside observer I must say it must be very difficult to withstand some of the nastiness he has to face from the right wing media and the Tory Party…… not to mention some of the ambitious right wing MPs in his own party.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Jun '16 - 8:28pm

    Nick Collins: Professor John Curtice said the usual, no valid conclusion can be deduced, nor from previous poll/s with Remain slightly ahead.

  • I’m not sure whether I wish I’d read this after I’d sent my postal ballot back though.
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1937_en.htm

    Which does seem to be taking an attempt to have EU wide criminal legislation and extending it to involve action on the basis of a (government) complaint. Off to read some Framework decisions I guess!

  • “Will it be a Britain that is the compassionate, diverse nation that welcomes the innovators and thinkers of tomorrow from across the continent?”

    Is a prerequisite of being for Brexit that you harbor animosity and lack any sort of compassion? Will innovators who wish to invest in Britain be denied in the case of Brexit?

    “Or will it be a Britain that turns its back on its neighbours?”

    This is a strawman and entirely disingenuous. I suspect the multitude of people who roll out this line actually know that, and yet are desperately looking for sound-bites to match the slick, to the point contentions of the Out side. What they fail to realize is that this sort of ‘holier than thou’ shtick is exactly what is most off-putting about the Remainers.

    “Will it be a Britain that stands tall on the international stage as a leader in the fight to tackle the greatest threat to humanity known as climate change? Or will we be a Britain that thinks we should give legitimacy to the views of the climate deniers pushing so desperately for a leave vote?”

    Talk about poisoning the well. How on earth, pray tell, is a vote for Brexit legitimizing climate change denial?

    “Will it be a Britain that fights for a worker’s right to maternity leave, equal pay and sickness rights?”

    Is it impossible to fight for these rights outside of the EU? Can we not simply vote out a government that tries to take away rights that we once had?

    This entire piece is logically fallacious and boils down to “Bad stuff might happen. Here are some unsubstantiated examples of said bad stuff. You wouldn’t want to hurt the environment or be a bad neighbor would you? Vote remain.”

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