Why I'm voting stay
It's looking increasingly likely that the UK is about to vote to leave the EU. I'm really sad about that, but it's something I've come to accept. If you're undecided, maybe you'd like to read some of my reasons why I think we should stay.
It's mainly because of this awesome old woman standing by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, selling her home made honey-flavoured spirits.
Can we go to Relate?
I've always used the Relate analogy when discussing the EU with friends. If your marriage is suffering but you still really love each other, then go to Relate and try to fix it. Yes there are lots of things wrong with the EU, but let's not leave just because it's really difficult right now. This is not the time to be selfish internationally. The whole world is in a difficult spot and we need to be involved to sort it out. Let's stay together and make it better instead.
But now I just don't know, maybe the EU has tried to build a marriage too quickly between a bunch of countries who have been bitter rivals for the best part of a thousand years. I think the EU is a really amazing concept, but maybe it's not designed to last in its current form.
If the UK does vote to leave, I can easily see the whole of the EU collapsing within 5-10 years as other countries hold referendums and vote to leave - France and the Netherlands are said to be considering their own if we go. But maybe that's for the best? It could lead to the formation of a new supra-national organisation that wouldn't have the same bad reputation as the EU, and could lead to greater peace and prosperity in the area.
Alternatively, because the way that nationalism is on the rise across many EU countries, if we all become more isolationist I can believe that could lead to increasing conflict in Europe.
Britain is unique in Europe in thinking of WWII with pride instead of fear. A lot of other European countries were on the wrong side, or committed atrocities, or were conquered. British culture still celebrates that time as our finest hour with movies like Dad's Army.
Small fish, big pond
Being part of international groups like the G8, NATO and the EU helps the UK's voice get heard. The UK's seat on the UN Security Council allows us to have big say in world affairs, and the same applies to the EU.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, recently said "I believe we’re always better when we work as closely as possible together, and separatism, or division, doesn’t seem to be a productive path for countries. More unity is a path toward greater prosperity."
I think a lot of people who want Brexit mistakenly think that we can go back to the past, glorious UK. The world has changed so much in the last forty years that I don't fancy our chances as a tiny island nation, especially if Scotland voted to leave the UK. But I guess we'd still be part of these other organisations, so we'll still have a voice.
Trump says leave
One of my biggest reasons to vote remain is that I think voting leave sends the wrong signal. It tells people like Nigel Farage that the UK supports him, it furthers the cause of organisations like Britain First and the BNP, and it will probably mean we'll end with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. The UK government is likely to become dominated by hard right wing policitians.
Donald Trump says we should leave, so my instant reaction is to vote remain. I want to be on Eddie Izzard's side in this debate, not Katie Hopkins'. This is the first time I've ever agreed with David Cameron in anything and it makes me uncomfortable and slightly itchy, but it's better than the alternative.
Do I think the EU needs reforming? Absolutely. Do I want to see Nigel Farage smugly kick off his next campaign to allow smoking in pubs? On Tuesday he said that he thinks "the doctors have got it wrong on smoking." Do you want this man any more involved in UK politics?
I love Europe
I love European people, their food, culture, and ways of life.
I love cycling holidays in France in September, seeing the grape harvest in full flow. I love markets in Italy, marvelling at how incredible their tomatoes taste. I love the Spanish attitude to work, I can't believe the siesta still exists today. I love buying home-made spirits from a toothless old crone in the middle of nowhere in Crotia. I love watching a sunrise on the beach in Ibiza. I love how how much joy there is in cities like Berlin and Amsterdam.
I know that these things are still going to exist if we vote leave, but I want to show the rest of Europe that we think they're awesome and want to be part of their club.
Kat are I are hoping to move to Valencia in Spain for a couple of years soon, and we can do that easily because we have freedom of travel and work inside in the EU. The main reason we've started planning it now is so that we still get to be there for a couple of years even if the UK does vote to leave. Because we're self employed, it could be very hard for us to get work visas without sponsorship from a Spanish company.
Tell you what: if you vote to stay in the EU you're welcome to come and stay with us in Valencia. Deal?
Keep them nice, I'm feeling fragile.
In ten days we're leaving the UK for new adventures in Spain...Read more
Archive2016December 2016 (2)November 2016 (2)October 2016 (2)September 2016 (3)August 2016 (4)July 2016 (5)June 2016 (4)May 2016 (4)April 2016 (5)March 2016 (4)February 2016 (4)January 2016 (5)2015December 2015 (4)November 2015 (4)October 2015 (5)September 2015 (4)August 2015 (4)July 2015 (4)June 2015 (4)May 2015 (5)April 2015 (4)March 2015 (4)February 2015 (4)January 2015 (4)
What's this about?
Hi I'm Mat and I'm addicted to new hobbies. I used to think this was a bad thing but now I'm embracing it.
Writing them all up in this blog encourages me to finish projects, and helps me keep track of which ones I've tried.
In preparation for new adventures in Spain I've been brushing up on my Spanish and discovered how much language learning has changed since the last time I did it...
Also in Inside my brain...
I read about Code Club when it first started in 2012, and we've just finished our first term of teaching it at Lostwithiel School...