UK's place in Europe

 •  Filed under EU, foreign policy

A collection of arguments, perspectives (and facts) from people who articulate clearly that membership in the EU is, on balance, a good deal for Britain:

... under pressure from the euroskeptics within their party’s ranks, [ministers of the Conservative government] find it difficult to break out of negative terrain. For most of the campaign, they have defended European membership merely as the lesser of two evils. At times, this bitter and bad-tempered referendum resembles a battle between those who want us half out of Europe and those who want us fully out.

It is not too late to make the positive case for Britain’s future in Europe. The 2014 Scottish independence referendum is a stark reminder of the dangers of excessive negativity. Reaffirming Scotland’s status as part of the United Kingdom required a patriotic vision and a positive, forward-looking mission statement. The same holds true in this referendum.

Traditional patriotism and modern realities need not be at odds [emphasis added]. In an interdependent world, each country must strike a balance between the autonomy it desires and the cooperation it needs. In the European Union, Britain can play a constructive role without either subjugating its identity to a European superstate or lurching backward into a “Little England” mind-set.

It will almost certainly be the biggest economic and political decision the British people will make in our lifetimes.

It is a question about the sort of country Britain wants to be in the world, and will affect families, jobs and the future of our country for decades to come.

We know many people are sceptical about the EU. That’s why any government either of us is a part of will always keep Britain out of the euro and the EU’s free border area

As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, you should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices – democracy, the rule of law, open markets – across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership. The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world, and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue – including within Europe.

In this complicated, connected world, the challenges facing the EU – migration, economic inequality, the threats of terrorism and climate change – are the same challenges facing the United States and other nations. And in today’s world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today’s challenges demand.

  • Martin Wolf: Britain’s friends are right to fear Brexit: "How do most informed Americans, Australians or, for that matter, other Europeans, react when they see the UK considering the end of a relationship that gives it a voice in the direction of the continent, while being free from so many of the burdens and mistakes of our partners? They think it mad. Nicely, but firmly, Mr Obama should say so."

  • Dalibor Rohac: It is Mr. Obama’s job to talk about Brexit: "The concern about the EU’s transformation into a dystopian superstate is misplaced. If Europe is on a slippery slope, it is of a very different kind. Under the pressure of the EU’s own dysfunctions, the rise of populist and nationalist movements, and the Kremlin’s continuing interference, political order on the continent is becoming fragile. Or, as the former Conservative Party Leader and Foreign Secretary Lord Hague wrote earlier this week, “being dominated by Europe was a serious threat to us 20 years ago, but now, having seen off the euro and other flawed ideas, a bigger threat is the western world falling in on itself, splintered and divided.”"

Rohac also outlines his arguments in this video:

“The European Union has helped reconcile countries which were at each others’ throats for decades,” Cameron said in a speech at the British Museum in central London on Monday. “Britain has a fundamental national interest in maintaining common purpose in Europe to avoid future conflict between European countries. And that requires British leadership, and for Britain to remain a member.”


Sajid Javid on why he opposes Brexit:


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