By: Ross Bryant, Student Voices Writer
I recently finished and handed in my dissertation (Whoopee!), the topic was rather relevant; what did the Conservative party think of closer European integration in the 90s? You can imagine what it was like for me; spend all day working on the Conservatives and the EU, come home to switch on the T.V to find another news story about the Conservatives and the EU! This really rather annoyed me. Not just because it was extremely repetitive and the quite frankly the last thing I wanted to see, but rather because it implied that this referendum was somehow about the Conservatives.
Having just studied it a great length, there is of course a long and complicated history between Conservative party and the European Union, but the way this referendum is being portrayed in relation to the Conservatives is simply missing the point. There are those who find themselves both in the ‘Remain’ and ‘anti-Tory’ camp who would like you to believe that the only reason this referendum came about is due to some internal Tory row. This is something I think must be addressed.
The whole reason we are having this referendum is because our membership of the EU is something that cuts across public opinion, cuts across the traditional left-right spectrum and most importantly it cuts across party lines. There is support for withdrawal from the EU within the Labour party just as there is support for withdrawal within the Conservatives. There is as much cause for those on the left of politics to want to leave the EU as there is for those on the right (think about the lobbying, TTIP, the cronyism, further privatisation my leftie friends).
But away from party politics, I don’t think that the basic case for wanting to leave the EU is a partisan one that can be divided between left and right or Labour and Conservative. It is that the EU is the world’s only trade organisation that isn’t experiencing economic growth and has not done since 2008. Here’s the other thing, we are paying £350 million a week to belong. I won’t even touch on the democratic issues. I won’t mention that we are now governed not just by people that we didn’t vote for but by people who nobody voted for.
When people ask me about what Brexit will mean for the PM or the Conservatives, I find it rather frustrating. The thing that interests me least about this referendum the outcome will be good or bad for a certain individual or party. This is so much bigger than who happens to be PM or a party leader. This is about whether we are either a part of a bureaucratic entity run by 28 unelected officials, or whether we are a self-governing country, living under our own laws, with the ability to hire and fire those who pass our laws. If you believe that the latter is a better option, I urge you to vote to leave.
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The EU Referendum is About More Than the Tories Reviewed by Admin on 17:45 Rating: