While reading the morning paper with my breakfast this morning, I was near reduced to a choking fit (I would like to add that it was a Bircher Muesli bowl meaning relative digestion ease, suggesting the severity of the headlines). On 1 June 2016, the EU referendum took a dramatic turn with 52 per cent of Britons now voting Leave as opposed to remaining in the European Union. If the text wasn’t scary enough, the front page photo of Nigel Farage exposing a pair of pearly whites was enough to make me reconsider my morning literature. Of course it would be easier to criticise the small-mindedness or divulge further into the petty nature of British politics and Farage’s creepy mannerisms, but I’d rather put my own thoughts (in no particular order) as to why I personally will be voting to remain in the European Union.
1. To be referred to as ‘European’ over ‘British’. I don’t know if I can put the attraction EXACTLY into words but thought Google Images might be able to help me out.
2. The food. Whether it be a freshly baked pain au chocolat and artisan coffee or a smoked frankfurter sausage, you can be sure I’ll Instagram it. And I’m not alone – pizza and pasta were voted Britain’s favourite things about Europe with Democracy coming in an at an embarrassing tenth place. #priorities
3. Gender equality. It wasn’t until 1928 that the Equal Franchise Act was passed in Britain. Yet with only 148 women of the 628 MPs in Parliament, it’s fair to say we’ve got a lot way to go in terms of equal representation. A closer connection to the likes of Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel can surely only aid this.
4. Pride. The German automobile in 1886, The University of Bologna in 1088, Colombus’s discovery of the ‘New World’ in 1492 and, errr… HP sauce in Nottingham in 1895. An achievement shared is a better achievement in my eyes.
5. The scapegoat. Who else can we blame for our financial difficulties/migrant influx/unemployment/housing development/global trade/cold dinner/broken ankle?
6. Opportunity. How on earth can I be an Exeter university student in this day and age without having spent a summer interrailing throughout Europe on my dad’s hard earned dolla’? Make sure to check out my next blog post on how I found myself after a summer of drinking sangria in Barcoleneta.
7. Solidarity. On a more serious note, the World stood behind Paris and Belgium in the recent terrorist attacks. Europe felt an even greater perceived connection to empathise and support our fellow Europeans in this hardship. These kinds of bonds are invaluable and serve to protect and provide a greater sense of community.
8. Diversity. I can see only benefits with greater access to Europe’s markets, even if there are limits to how much Roquefort I can squeeze into my hand luggage on that easyJet discount flight, much to the nearby passengers’ appreciation.
9. Sport. With Nadal, Federer and Murray as European, our chances of success at Wimbledon are pretty secure and no one wants a slice of disappointment with that overpriced summer time Pimms.
10. Fear. I am really scared that if we were to leave the EU, I would be stuck on a really small island with this man and oceans riddled with tales of Loch Ness monsters.