On the 23rd of June, the British people will exercise their democratic right to self-determination. They will decide whether to remain in the EU or whether to leave. ( referred to as Brexit)
Naturally there are valid arguments on both sides. The REMAIN campaign emphasises the trade advantages it believes we have, and stresses the solidarity against globalisation and also terror.
The BREXIT campaign points to the “democracy deficit” endemic in the whole EU institution, and highlights the freedom we would acquire if we left- freedom to control our borders, our legal system, our trade deals and our ‘Britishness’.
On the 23rd of June I shall be voting to leave the EU on the following grounds:- “Remain” does not equal the status quo. Rather a remain vote is a vote for an inexorable trajectory towards ever closer political, financial and ideological union with other member states.
However, my own voting intentions are completely irrelevant, and if the REMAIN vote wins, then democracy will have spoken and I will accept the result , just as any citizen should do.
We have much in common with America- perhaps more than with our European partners, yet are we to be subjected to their undemocratic ideologies because it suits America? The same ideologies which America itself rejects?
So, what makes President Obama think this is any of his business? Bob Corker, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee expressed fear of a breakup of the UK, and a surge in separatist groups across Europe.
Already, plans are being made as to how to tackle this issue. Talks with Angela Merkel at the end of April may lead the way. The US, by dint of its special relationship with the UK, obviously has more influence in Europe if the UK is a prominent member state. The theory goes that Britain will play a more influential role if it remains a strong player in Europe, which in turn will benefit America.
However, Britain’s primary purpose is not to act in America’s interest and there is an intrinsic hypocrisy at play here: the US does not recognise the authority of the UN, and has opposed a court which would hold countries to global standards of justice.
So how does the US propose, with any legitimacy, to influence the UK to remain in an organisation which often overrides our national interests when the US itself refuses to be bound by international organisations?
I have tremendous respect for Barack Obama- especially for his concerns regarding the gun lobby, and his attempts to introduce healthcare for all.
But this proposed interference is just plain wrong, and could indeed backfire. Ostensibly Obama is to visit Britain as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday, but insiders have indicated that he plans to use his visit to make a speech on US European relations to help rescue the beleaguered Cameron, who has seen his power ebb away lately in the wake of minor scandals.
Obama has been urged to make a positive internationalist case for British membership of the EU.
If I were Barack Obama, I would tread very, very carefully. He must strike a very delicate balance if he is not to alienate millions of undecided voters who resent external interference.
Mr Obama, I myself have some good advice for you: by all means visit Europe- celebrate with us the Queen’s birthday; discuss climate change; focus on anti- terrorism measures and the fight against ISIS, but leave British affairs to the British, and deal with the consequences of what they alone must be left to decide.