So EU or No So EU?
I t’s been a long old journey but its still very much the beginning; we have lots going on in the background but on the face of it all is well and right with the world. Things are changing; things are shifting to and fro like opinion on should we stay or should we go. The referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the EU is arguably the biggest question WhereIts@London will try to answer in its short existence.

What is our opinion?

We are not ready to offer an opinion for or against because there is too much at stake; like many an individual, or organisation its something that shouldn't be considered lightly; nor should it be brushed under the carpet and ignored. Carry on regardless is something that many have grown up with pre 1975 when we as a nation voted to join the common market as it was branded then.

Then and now: what differences do we see?

Now: The social picture in the UK is very different now to as it was then, the differences are mainly our technological advancement and quality of life, with the improvement in industrial relations, social mobility (to a degree) workers rights, and gender equality.

Then: Simpler times, not much choice, not much opportunity, not much in the way of equality of race, creed, faith, orientation. Racism and misogyny was endemic, as was the gender pay gap and the old boy network in the city.

The younger generation have grown up with free movement in the EU a single currency across most of the continent, cheap flights and hotels, stag weekends on the continent and smoking weekends away in Amsterdam, raves in Ibiza, Magaluf, Kos and on the Costa’s.

But the last eight or more years have seen a decline in opportunity across the continent; unacceptable rates of unemployment and decreased living standards in much of the EU; huge amount of migration from one or other part of the EU to where the work is and an increase in demand for housing, services, transport and infrastructure.

There are large swathes of the population that do not share the popular opinion of the Westminster set; not even the Westminster set are in agreement about what is the best route to take for us as a nation.

Is the referendum too soon we ask? The coming months will have us swamped with more and more information/spin/propaganda for the ayes and nays; who are we to believe?

The question we need to answer ourselves first is simple: Where do we sit in the world of the EU; do we believe in democracy as long as its us calling the shots?

Is the EU as democratic as it espouses? Is it right to cede sovereignty when a large chunk of the EU is very different from the UK and what British values are today?

Our opinion on British values are simple; a healthy respect of our shared heritage, the courage and sacrifice made by our forbears be they British white or British Irish, British Scots, British Black, British Asian, British European, or British Commonwealth.

Whatever you regard yourself, whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself, the kaleidoscope that brings us together as a community in the UK is what binds us. This kaleidoscope spans the globe, not just the EU, but its also the commonwealth and our cousins across the pond in the USA and Canada, not to mention down under; how could we forget the jewel of the subcontinent.

Britain and Europe cannot separate ourselves from our centuries of trade, conquest, war and peace with all parts of the world, where we have fought for land, resources, peoples and power; which has been an integral part of human civilisation and evolution.

We cannot remove ourselves from Europe any more than we could remove our hand from our arm without there being significant discomfort, nor could we remove ourselves from our hand in any part of the globe today given our commonwealth relationships and collective histories.

The future is in trade with all parts of the globe. The future is in cooperation on a global scale and not just in regional agreements because our greatest threat is climate change; climate change knows no boundaries or borders.

If we can lead from the front on a global level, we are more likely to effect positive change than working as part of a collective which can easily become bogged down in red tape and the bureaucratic behemoth of an unchecked, unregulated European Commission, European Union, Euro currency that has crippled its smaller partners because of waste and corruption.

Does this mean we are for a Brexit?

Not really; the best way to affect positive change is by influencing change within a system not from outside a system, whether we like it or not. Isn't that like throwing the baby out with the bath water?

Does that mean we are for staying In the EU?

Not exactly either; what we do know is that the EU does need reform; the EU needs to work more cohesively with less bureaucratic buffoonery…the bigger question right now is not whether we stay in the EU but whether the EU can acknowledge its shortcomings and realise that unfettered access without constant checks and balances within itself is a recipe for disaster.

Should we stay or should we go?

It’s a question we hope to answer in the coming weeks and months. Needless to say, we will share our thoughts and opinion based on an honest and true analysis of the situation and the facts as we see them. Will be helpful? To us yes, we will try to make sense of the the debate and then decide for WhereIts@London. Its for every individual with a right to vote in the referendum to decided for themselves given an honest and true presentation of the information presented.

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