Being in the UK doesn’t make me feel less
Irish. Leaving the EU won’t make people
feel less European.
The general argument I have come across from opposition is that there is too much uncertainty in leaving the European Union, with many believing it is better to stick with the devil you know than the one you don’t. This to me is akin telling an abused spouse that they are better staying in the relationship for financial security. And this is wrong! It is better to face uncertainty with the opportunity of increased freedom, prosperity, and dignity, than stay with the certainty of increased stranglehold and subversion brought about by an ever-closer union.
What these people are saying is that the UK isn’t big enough to make it on its own merit without the single market and the status quo that exists already, but what they *mean* is that the British people are not smart enough, not good enough even, to do it without the super-government run delegations, and thus should not be trusted to function without their ever-watching nanny.
In a recent interview with Owen Jones, Dan Hannan perfectly addresses the ideological oxymoron that confronts those opposed to withdrawing from the EU – usually those championing the UK remaining under powers of Brussels are those who contemporaneous rally for stronger devolved powers to countries, and local authorities, within the United Kingdom. Essentially, We (the People) do not like to see decisions made on our laws by unelected (b)Eurocrats in faraway lands; something many here in Northern Ireland feel is happening within the UK anyway. An undermining of the government that we vote for ourselves through the democratic process leads to laws passing that do not fit our society’s wishes. As Hannan states, “It’s basically about democracy”. And it is as simple as that. The support for devolved powers here in the UK elates me. Their support to then undermine those powers in the EU eludes me.
“I just can’t imagine not being European” is one I’ve actually heard. And I personally find it laughable. When one thinks of the term ‘European’, and whether or not the British Isles counts, it’s not exactly what springs to the mind. But that isn’t what is being discussed. We are not arguing whether or not to leave the continent of Europe. We want to leave the European Union, a different entity entirely. In regards to culture, we are what we associate with. Living in the United Kingdom does not make me personally feel any less Irish than I have been raised to feel, and being from Northern Ireland doesn’t compromise my British credentials either. However, I can say with a certainty that I personally have not felt a connection to Europe culturally. I have, unfortunately, felt a stronger presence of the boot of European regulation and nanny-statism on my face, and I can’t stand to deal with it forever.
Just like an orchestra is not made up of a group of individuals just playing their piece, but is instead dependent on how they play together in the ensemble, our future depends on how we work together in our own society, as well as further afield. When we ditch the restrictive ever-closer union, we create an ever-closer society; one that has more chance of progress and community cohesion – more harmony. With the European Commission orchestrating the piece, the UK will always play second fiddle. Leave the EU and we can conduct ourselves.