Boris and Nigel, the Laurel and Hardy of the Leave EU campaign.
I have been considering for quite some time whether or not to do a blog post on the EU referendum. The figureheads for the vote leave campaign appear to me to be a couple of comedians, bungling Boris and someone who appears to be drunk most of the time. But this is too serious an issue to make too much light of the issues.
The media, particularly the populist press, are all for leaving. And for some reason most of the Catholics that I have heard express a view on the referendum, are for leaving Europe. However I think we are much better off in the EU therefore I'm finding as usual my views on contemporary issues are at odds with the majority.
Among traditional and orthodox Catholics vote leave sentiment is almost unanimous and I am baffled by this. Do they think that Britain will suddenly become Catholic if we leave, that the abortion laws will be overturned, that homosexuals and gender benders will be halted in their relentless infiltration into every part of society? That the BBC will suddenly become fair and unbiased? That immigration, particularly Muslim immigration, will suddenly stop? And that the country will become better off economically? I believe the opposite will be the case in all of these areas. Or perhaps it is down to people like Boris telling us we will not be pushed around by a load of Brussels Sprouts telling us that tomatoes are now to be labelled fruit!
However, seriously my two main reasons for staying in are immigration (or rather the type of) and the economy. Most of the immigrant problem for us was with Muslims from the commonwealth, mainly Pakistanis - and not Catholics from the EU (Central Europe) most of whom eventually go home again speaking perfect English. My second reason is that I think Britain has done very well in Europe economically; before joining we were struggling below France and Italy now we are the 5th richest nation in the world the 2nd in Europe.
So what do I think will happen if we leave?
Immigration will increase but they will no longer be EU citizens and Catholics they will I believe be mainly Muslim. Where will they come from? I believe where they have always mainly come from; the Commonwealth - Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. There are already reports that Ukip/leave are dangling visas in front of Britain's ethnic minorities.
The French may ask us to remove our borders from French ports and put them in England. So the second source of Muslims will be the Middle East via Europe, a thing that the French are helping us stop - at the moment. So what would we rather have: the Pakistani taxi driver or the Polish plumber?
On The economy
We will have no say on European laws but will still need to conform in order to trade in many areas.
We already have a taste of what will happen to the pound, it's already dropping like a stone at the moment because of opinion polls - this will put up fuel costs and therefore pretty well everything.
The Bank of England will need to protect the pound so they will put up interest rates therefore raise costs for businesses putting a fragile economic recovery in jeopardy.
Foreign companies who moved in to set up when British industry was struggling after the squeezes of the 1960s like the car industry, may reconsider. In fact when we entered Europe in the early 70s we were known as the "sick man of Europe" now we are its second largest economy. Britain has done very well out of Europe but we can't see it.
|Bungling Boris at London Gay Pride march|
On influence and culture we are right at the top, we are simply the most powerful country in Europe, and it's not always been a good thing for Europe. Our language is the second language of most people in the EU, our music is heard throughout Europe, our strong links with the USA give us even more power and cultural influence.
There is of course a down side to all this cultural influence, we were one of the first countries to legalise abortion and homosexual acts. We have the biggest "Gay Pride" marches in Europe, London being one of the biggest in the world let alone Europe. All pushed via an English speaking media that everyone respects and is led by the very "fair and balanced" BBC. I'm beginning to think that it will not only be a bad thing for Britain to pull out of Europe but a good thing for Europe if we leave.
Whilst we all need to conform with the same trading and work practice laws as the rest of Europe because it's only fair and right, This is probably a greater burden on the smaller states of Europe than on its 2nd most powerful economy. There needs to be a level playing field for all trading and manufacturing EU nations. On Sovereignty this is not an issue there are areas of the law where Europe cannot nor does intervene.
On other major differences between the UK and the EU, we have the pound, we drive on a different side of the road, where are all the rest Europe have things like compatible electrical plugs etc we do not. And no one is forcing us to change.
So what's the real problem? Is it just perceptions generated by poor quality journalism?
However I think leave will win, perhaps this will be a good thing and remove the influence of the most morally liberal country in Europe - the UK.
So many people who have Irish ancestry are applying for Irish passports that the Irish passport office has recently needed to employ an extra 200 staff. However I will be sad if we leave and as a British Catholic, perhaps I will apply for dual nationality as I can.
By the Prayer Crusader with St Philomena