In response to an FT article by Martin Wolf on 19th April 2016, entitled 'Britain's friends are right to fear Brexit'
A few thoughts on some of your points Mr. Wolf:
1. "How might future historians judge a British to decision to leave the EU? It might well be seen as the moment when the west started to unravel"...It might also be seen as the time when the British people, perhaps followed by others around the world, rejected any further moves towards centralized, and/or globalized government
2. "Avoiding needless and costly risks is how adults differ from children "...Avoiding the temptation to reduce a complex comparison down to a single comment, and an immature one at that, is another
3. "We do not know what the UK’s partners might want"...True, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that they want to maximise their national and corporate balance sheets and minimise any negative effects on trade
4. "Some foolishly assume that the latter will be generous"...And some assume, foolishly or otherwise, that they will be punitive…both are assumptions
5. "Moreover, the overwhelming aim of the rest of the EU will be to keep it together"...If you’d said ‘Brussels’ I’d agree. I’m not so sure as you claim to be about the overwhelming aim of the rest of the EU. I suspect that there is growing resistance to a number of ‘things’, amongst which are:
a) The unilateral decisions that were made in Berlin over the migrant crisis
b) The pig’s ear that was and is the Greek bailout
c) What I, at least, see as the inevitable collapse of a flawed currency union that is not supported by a fiscal union or a federal framework
6. "It behoves those who prate of violated UK sovereignty to remember that, had the US not become engaged, the UK would now be a Nazi or Soviet satellite"…It behoves those who dismiss the desire for self-determination as ‘prate’ to explain why such a desire equates to ‘babble’, ‘blather’ ‘gabble’ or ‘jabber’. Admittedly I can sympathise with you applying those terms to Mr. Carswell or Mr. & Mrs. Bone, but there are some for whom ‘making a principled case’ might be a more accurate description of the matter of sovereignty.
The other thing about the war is this: how far back do you want to go Mr. Wolf? On the bright side at least you didn’t dive headlong into Godwin’s law – you dipped a toe perhaps…
7. "How do most informed Americans, Australians or, for that matter, other Europeans, react…They think it mad"...Mad? I think there’s more than a tad of exaggeration or even invention going on there Mr. Wolf. If you were a fisherman I’d say the sprat you caught yesterday has become a trout in the telling…seriously, I don’t think you’ve got much more idea than anyone else about that.
On the other hand, I get that you care passionately about this Mr. Wolf. I respect that. But please hear this - so do I.
Here’s my stance:
The purpose of the referendum is to decide what the national interest is...in this matter. For in a democracy, like it or not, the national interest is exactly what the majority of the people say it is. Framing it as a chance for the plebs to do what the writers of the FT or anyone else thinks they 'must' is arrogance and hubris.
It is indeed about the prosperity and security of Britain and the country’s place in the world, but for me at least it is about more than that. For me, it is a choice about the nature of government - its purpose, its size, its powers, its accountability and its transparency. Ultimately these factors are ruled by the first - its purpose. On that basis, speaking for myself, I do not want any further expansion in the growth or centralisation of governmental power. I will be voting to leave the EU. I will not be falling out with any of my French, German or Italian friends, cancelling any holiday arrangements, hanging a union jack outside my house or subscribing to the Daily Mail.
Personally I celebrate this referendum - flawed and messy though it is. I shall vote with the pride that comes from knowing that I can, as I always do, and then I will accept the result.
There is no more fundamental choice for a people, than how they decide to govern themselves.