So I thought I’d do a blog on ‘Remain’ or ‘Brexit’. I admit I am no expert, but I do know bogus arguments when I see them - and I see them on both sides. Right now I lean toward Brexit and if forced to vote now, that is where I'd very reluctantly make my mark.
Since I am not an expert, I'd appreciate factual corrections and invalid arguments being pointed out. Also, if you have a contrary perspective - share it. But let's please avoid the smoke and screens that seem to prevail - I hope I have not been guilty of that!
1) Ad-hominem arguments
In the first place, we must push aside the ad-hominem arguments. An ad-hominem argument is one that attempts to win an argument by personally attacking the opposition. So, an ad-hominem argument might go like this …
Nigel Farage and Donald Trump are racist - so don’t join them, vote ‘Remain’.
The question is not if certain people are racist or not, but are their arguments valid or not. Even if Farage is racist - a vote to Brexit need not be racist at all, and a vote to Brexit need not mean joining Nigel Farage. If we followed that logic, we better hope there are no racists, or paedophiles, or rapists who are voting to remain - as that would make all the ‘remainers’ rapists, paedophiles and racists.
2) The Immigration fallacy
A Brexit vote need not be about anti-immigration at all. But is about filtering who can and cannot enter the country. We can Brexit, and if we want, we can have open borders too - that would be up to us to decide. We can let in as many people as we want. Since we are a democracy, if Farage was Prime Minister (Which is not going to happen) and all our fears about him proved true - guess what, we can vote him out.
The problem is the argument seems to go like this …
Brexit: Vote out, then we can control our Boarders and decide who can and cannot come in.
Remain: But we need immigration, immigration is good for the country and its economy.
Brexit: But we can still have immigration, just controlled.
Remain: But we need immigration. Immigrants are good for the economy…
You can see what happens - the Remains don’t seem to listen to the Brexits. They seem to think we either have completely open borders within the EU or completely closed borders outside the EU.
The question for the Remains to answer is this: Accepting that we need immigration and that immigration is, on the whole, good for the country and economy; Is every single immigrant that comes into the country good for the country and its economy? Surely the answer is ‘no’. Brexit, many are, most probably are but certainly not all. Brexit enables us to simply say ‘no’ to those who are not good for the country and its economy.
3) The Economy
The fact is, all the so-called experts agree, we are financially better off in Europe. I think if as a country we continue as we are, the elites are probably right. I say ‘probably’ because they may be wrong too. The fat is, nobody knows. But on balance, I reckon the elites are right. But, that would be our fault - not for Brexiting, but for not sorting out our industries and education etc. Britain needs to concentrate educationally on things like engineering instead of some of the plethora of social sciences. I am not saying they should all be stopped - but the emphasis seriously needs to change.
If as a country we fail to create, innovate, produce and manufacture things - we have nothing substantial to trade with. This is why Germany is so strong. The make things and sell them. We rely on services, e.g. financial services. This is good but we depend too much on it which may be good for the country as a country - but not good for the average Joe. When we say that Financial Services are good for the country - by ‘country’, we, in fact, mean the elite within the country.
4) Germany - The Powerhouse of Europe
Now this is not a criticism, but an observation. But it seems to me that what Germany attempted and failed in, in WW2, to rule all of Europe, they are now achieving through an ever-closer EU. Now don’t misunderstand me - this is not a comparison with Nazi Germany at all - Germany is, on the whole, a forward thinking, democratic nation. But they are, without a doubt, the powerhouse of Europe, and the EU strengthens their position toward being the undisputed ruler of Europe. Their influence on the EU is out of all proportion to the size of the country - and this seems to me to be wrong.
5) ‘Remain’ and Change the EU from the inside.
This argument makes a lot of sense on the surface. It is true that if we leave, we will still be affected by various EU rules and regulations regarding trading etc, but being out of the EU, we will have no say about those rules and regulations. If we remain, we can campaign to bring about change.
For me, this really is the big issue. Although at the moment I will probably vote Brexit, I would much prefer to remain in an EU that is much better. Now it seems to me that everyone on both sides of the debate admits the EU is significantly flawed and really needs to change. So I take that as a given. The problem is, I have absolutely no faith whatsoever that a vote to ‘Remain’ will lead to any change at all.
If David Cameron was unable to negotiate anything at all of any significance with the threat of us leaving as an incentive, then if we vote to remain, the EU will know we are in for good, and will be totally de-incentivised to change.
6) The EU will give us a good deal even if we Brexit.
I cannot see that it is in the EU’s interest to give Britain a good deal on a Brexit. If they do, they would be signalling to all the other EU countries that they too can leave and still have good deals. I imagine the French will start to get itchy feet and demand a referendum. I’d have thought the EU will need to make an example of us. Of course, they are not going to say that. But from their perspective that would make sense - or others will get itchy feet.
7) If we leave, Scotland will leave
This may be the case. I hope not. We really would be ‘Little Britain’. I think they probably would go for another referendum. If they do have another referendum and leave the UK and join the EU, they would still work very closely with us - that is for sure, as it would still be in both our interests. However, Britain would possibly be a little better off financially as Britain would no longer be subsidising Scotland. On the other hand, they would certainly wait a while before going for a referendum. If the UK fairs better financially out - I think Scotland will stick with us, if we enter another recession - they will likely vote out. I just hope they give it a good five years to let the dust settle first.
For me, it is a really tough decision. Culturally, I love Europe. I love the idea that I can just go there anytime I please. I love the idea of retiring in Spain! I really do. But since I am not remotely persuaded that by remaining within the EU we can change it, then for the sake of a much greater value - Democracy, I think I will take my chances and vote Brexit. I am not 100% though.
In the end, I will vote with a clear conscience and trust the Lord’s sovereignty, being thankful that my allegiance is not to the United Kingdom or the EU, but with a much better Kingdom to come - praise God for the certainty of that.