Europe. I’m in; and not because of the personal gains (I don’t know if there are any), or the personal losses if we leave (I don’t know about those either). I’m also just as concerned as anyone else about borders, immigration, trade, and legislative freedom, and I think the EU as an organisation needs to get its act together in terms of international efficacy. Its response to the refugee crisis has been pathetic.
So I’m not voting to stay because I have a rose-tinted notion of the EU; I’m voting to stay because unity is more essential than ever in a world so often divided by culture, religion, and politics. Because now more than ever we need to cultivate and develop the skills of negotiation, collaboration, and cooperation with people who don’t speak our language or share our views. Because insularity leads to inward-looking ideologies, protectivism, and defensiveness. Because broadening horizons does the opposite by confronting all parties with their biases and assumptions and moving everyone forwards as a result. Because defeating extremism while cultivating tolerance of difference is critical to our survival in more ways than I’d want to bring to this particular argument. Because it’s possible to identify with heritage without having to deny other allegiances. And because parochial self-interest is even less attractive in a nation than it is in the neighbour who throws bricks at your cat when it ventures into their garden but sees no problem letting their dog poop outside your door.