Why I will vote to remain in the European Union
By Cllr James Halden
THIS debate is a fundamental decision but not an election. If we come out, then its forever, not for an electoral cycle.
This debate is not all about immigration. It’s about us being a great nation; we are the 5th biggest economy in the world, we have the 4th most visited capital city, and we have the third biggest military spend. This is about how we remain and become a even Greater Britain, not about simplifying an argument to appease very base fears.
After all, even if we come out, Europe will still be there. Europe will still be one of the biggest global powers shaping the destiny of the world, and if we walk away from influence in that due to dumbed down arguments then we will be looked down on as an isolated little England, opposed to revered as we are now as a well-connected Great Britain.
Also I think of all the students who benefit from a connected Europe to work and study in, and how much workers from aboard mean to the NHS.
Above all else, this campaign must end in a respectful way. A few weeks ago I had great pleasure in meeting many people in Grays with the vote leave campaign. We had a vote in and a vote out stall next to each other, proving you can disagree without being disagreeable.
It was also a joy to man the vote in stall with a staunch Labour Councillor, Cllr Martin Kerin, proving it’s possible to find common ground with political foes for causes you see as in the best interest for the public. It’s vital to have civility in politics.
So please debate the issue respectfully and thoroughly, and then vote in!