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ME AND BREXIT

date: 23 June 2016 at 23:14:45

I didn’t vote.

I’m a British citizen, but I’ve lived in Italy for the last 36 years.

I don’t feel sufficiently informed to vote regarding the British dilemma: Stay or Leave?

That’s why I have waited until this moment before expressing an opinion.

Everyone who has the right and the desire to vote will have done so.

Now the votes are being counted, and we’re all on the edge of our seats awaiting the outcome.

 

I would have voted to leave the European Community.

The murder of Jo Cox brought emotions into play which ought not to have influenced the way a nation approaches such an important referendum.

A referendum?

On such a serious and complex matter?

A referendum represents a failure of government, an avoidance of responsibility. Jo Cox may have fuelled some of the violent emotions which contributed to her death while canvassing for people to vote as she would have liked them to vote. Certainly, she fuelled the emotions of millions of people by her untimely death. But while her murder is tragic, its impact on the core question adds nothing to what we did, or didn’t know.

The vote is not for or against Jo Cox and the opinions she held dear.

The question is Europe, the future of Europe, the unity of Europe.

 

Does Europe exist as a community, as a union of confederate nations?

I believe that it does not.

 

Walls and barricades are going up all over Europe in defence of borders, and in defiance of the Schengen agreement. The lack of a unified European response to the question of immigration, an incapacity to assist genuine refugees, is a major political and social failure which will impact on the nature of every country inside the European ‘curtain’ in the coming years.

The abandonment of Greece, the heartless destruction of the Greek people, would have seemed appalling to Lord Byron, but now it’s the norm.  The payment of Turkey to accommodate Syrian war refugees is cowardly and unsatisfactory.

The German government encouraged the flow – remember Merkel’s decision to ‘welcome a million (well-educated) Syrian refugees’ without consulting her European partners? Then, she changed her mind. That shift of policy pushed France, Austria, the Balkan states, and Britain to turn their backs on misery.

Is this political unity? Is this a caring community? Is this Europe?

Refugees won’t disappear. They have to go somewhere.

Indeed, the Mediterranean basin seems destined to become a dumping ground for the unloved and the unwanted. A two-tier European system? It exists already. Italy is overrun with so-called ‘boat people’ from Africa – the ‘rejects’ no European country wants – whose only resource is to beg, or labour under the burning sun picking plums or tomatoes for €1 a day.

Europe has created slavery, and turned its back on the problem.

At a political level, Europe has also failed to guarantee democracy.

Millions of lives were lost in the fight against totalitarianism seventy years ago, yet right-wing extremism is growing fast in Europe – in France, Poland, Austria, Germany and Britain. Italy – once a Fascist state – has been ruled by a Europe-approved oligarchy since 2011, when elected premier, Silvio Berlusconi, was rejected by the European Commission. It all began with The Economist (July 30th, 2003 – Is This Man Fit To Rule Italy?), and ended with a complicit smile for the tv camera between Merkel and Nicolas Sarkosy.

Five years later, there is still no sign of an Italian election on the horizon.

Europe doesn’t need elections.

A council of experts – non-elected yes-men – dictates the financial and political ‘road map’ (God save us from these mumbo-jumbo Anglicisms!) which the chosen representatives of each country must follow if they wish to keep their seats in Berlaymont, the home of the European Commission...

I could go on for hours, but will stop here.

I hope that Britain votes to leave the EC.

I hope that other countries will hasten to follow the British example.       

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