So far, a great degree of the debate over Britain’s continued membership of the EU has focused on the various economic arguments on either side. Whilst the economic question is of course of great importance, I am not convinced that this will be the deciding factor on June 23rd.
At the forefront of my thinking and the question that I keep coming back to is – what sort of country will my children be living in when they grow up? It is vital that before we vote, we think of those people that our vote will actually affect the most – Britain’s next generation.
As a Liberal Democrats I believe in an open, modern and inclusive Britain that stands tall in the world, and doesn’t hide from it. I am optimistic that we can strive for a better society, and unlike Brexiters, I think that Britain can achieve this through collaboration with others.
I believe that we are a more prosperous country as a part of the world’s largest economy, working in partnership with our neighbours and that by being a member of the EU we are guaranteed equal opportunity under a number of fundamental protections.
All indicators suggest that young people, in a clear majority, are backing the campaign to remain. This is because young people have grown up flourishing in the increased opportunities that the EU has provided them, allowing them to work, travel and learn abroad.
Do we have the right to limit their freedoms, and curtail the benefits that affect so many of us on a daily basis? For me, the answer to this is obvious.
If we are to confront issues such as climate change, or international crime and people trafficking, cross-border cooperation is the only solution. It is this approach that can see our country thrive, innovate and lead in today’s open and global economy. This is the true mark of a progressive country.
I understand that many people may regret that Britain is no longer the imperial power it was generations ago. But this election is not about Britain’s past and after decades of brutal conflict, the EU has proven to be the most successful peace process in the world. As part of the EU we can continue to play a leading role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and democracy building, rejecting a return to mutual hostility that isolationism can bring.
I am determined to make the positive, passionate and crucially, patriotic case for Britain to remain in the EU. This doesn’t necessarily mean loving everything about the EU, but instead about sharing a positive vision where we see ourselves as benefitting hugely, both economically and culturally, from our continued membership.
I hope that we leave to the next generation an international legacy where Britain pursues prosperity and peace in cooperation with our neighbours. Only by standing tall in Europe can the UK play a leading role in shaping its future. That is why I am voting to remain.
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