Doug

Edinburgh, Remain 74% | Leave 26%

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I voted to remain.

I feel nations should be endeavouring to work together and cooperate for the benefit of the planet. I see a lot wrong with the European Union and it’s processes but I would far rather be part of the club trying to change it from within.

I believe referenda are the work of the devil and only serve to divide. Referenda expect a Yes/No answer to complex questions. They should be banned in a parliamentary democracy (perhaps we need a referendum to decide that!). I’m exceedingly frustrated with the process and our MPs in general. I’m equally frustrated with Scotland’s single-minded SNP led government who claim Scotland voted to remain and they have been obstructionist since the referendum result. Scotland had already declared itself to be firmly part of the UK and should abide and support UK decisions. The country (UK) is not best served by this eternal state of flux. We need certainty, for our everyday lives, for business planning, for the UK’s place in the world! The recent vote in Parliament on the EU27/PM’s deal rejected it for a number of reasons. Primarily several groups of MPs want something different and there is no consensus. MP’s should come together in the interests of the country and some certainty. Specifics can be amended as details mature but we need a baseline. I don’t want UK to leave, but I also believe that having had a referendum and a majority in favour we should honour that. I am now committed to leaving and would prefer a negotiated deal along the lines of the EU27/PM’s deal. Failing that I’d prefer a clean break to a customs union without the ability to have a say. The continuing push towards a Federal EU is not something that enthuses me and if we don’t have a seat at the table it will be difficult to object. If the referendum was to be re-run, I don’t know which way I’d jump but probably stick with remain, however I worry about the effect a re-run would have on population unrest.

I feel that we are unlikely to remain now. Most of the commentary is about the trading relationship. We forget that the EU has benefits from collaboration across many areas including scientific research, law and order, open skies, common standards, laws, defence - although I think that owes more to NATO. For Brexit without a deal, I think the UK will eventually recover from a shock drop in economic and international political strength, it will take time to get back to parity and we may never recover to meet the growth path or have the influence that we currently enjoy. This will also affect the happiness perception of the population at large. Brexit with a deal that allows continuing trade with Europe and the ability to extend our horizons to make other trade deals would be much less of a shock to the economy and population as a whole.

The global increase in population will continue to have a bearing on the rise of nationalism and a fight for the limited resources. I think this will lead to an increasing number nationalist and protectionist policies globally. I see leaving the EU as a small manifestation of that. In my lifetime the world population has risen from 2.7Bn to 7.7Bn and the rate of growth is increasing, this is unsustainable. There are far bigger issues for politicians to address than bickering amongst themselves. Get on with it!