Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Vote In © Penny Johnson

Vote In © Penny Johnson

Reasons to stay in Europe

On both sides here has been much anger, lies and, at times, debate that would embarrass a four-year-old. HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths asked a few local Hastings and St Leonards-ites about their thoughts and concerns on Europe and why they are in favour of remaining.

There are arguments on both sides as well as the knowledge that the EU bureaucracy is definitely overdue for reform. But is it better to argue from within rather than being a lone voice in the wilderness? What happens if Britain stays or votes to go it alone? No one knows. And that in the midst of the obfuscations and mud-slinging is probably the underbelly of it all. In the words of screenwriter William Goldman “Nobody knows anything”– for certain.

This is not an exhaustive study but here are a few responses from people who want to stay in Europe.

Nick Perry, Chair, Hastings &‎ Rye Liberal Democrats 

‘There is passion on both sides of this debate but for me it is simple. We live in a world where the most serious and pressing problems cross borders: economic security, climate change, terrorism, drugs, crime. ‎These cross-border concerns need cross-border solutions. And Britain needs a voice at the table so that the solutions developed are squarely in our country’s best interests. Liberal Democrats are internationalists. I am voting IN not just for myself but for my children and their future.

Jeffrey Louis-Reed, Artist

Vote Remain

These days I have a gallery in Paris, DJ in Ibiza, I’m writing an opera in Italy, collaborate with a set of German musicians and work sometimes in the same day with Lithuanian, Greek, Flemish, Italian, Portuguese and other European nationalities. London and Paris especially have been the crossroads where not only EU citizens meet but also African, Asian, American, and all other corners of the globe. To turn our backs on this now would be stupid. Furthermore to have politicians on the Leave side fanning flames of xenophobia, racism and intolerance is unforgivable.

For me Europe (UK included) represents a point in the world where the very best of so many things I do meet – books, art, music, film and performance – and almost all have support in one way or another from the EU. The EU acts as a counterweight to the austerity politics of the present Conservative government as well.

Erica Smith, Graphic Designer and HOT member

I am going to vote to stay IN. I believe in a united Europe as a pledge to peace in Europe after two world wars which divided our continent. Thanks to the media-led debate which has focused on fear of immigrants and hopes to save a bit of money, people seem to have forgotten this important reason to be part of a European community. We are all struggling with a worldwide recession and the consequences of war and conflict, but leaving Europe will not make these problems magically disappear.

I don’t want to live in a small-minded country where people choose to murder democratically elected MPs – I have no confidence in the ‘Leave’ mentality.

Ian Land, Photographer and IT Professional

Why do I think Britain should stay in the EU? Because open borders are a benefit to our society, because racism is poisonous, and because, frankly, without Europe, Britain is a nasty parochial backwater with pretensions to imperial greatness but a reality of poverty and austerity which is shameful in a country which is still one of the richest in the world. The EU has many problems – of bureaucratism, of unaccountability, of its predominantly neo-liberal economic agenda. But if the alternative is a government in which Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove make the running, I have no hesitation in voting to remain within it.

Richard De Pesando, Design Consultant

Jo Cox RIP

Jo Cox RIP

I just remembered what is was that bothered me about Brexit – that was so ‘familiar’ about the whole farce. It’s Citizen Kane – and the early part of the film where Kane created the fiction that America was about to be invaded by Spain – so absurd the fiction was that people instantly believed it – and he sold millions of papers, because people like fear, panic, uncertainty and are basically quite stupid and like to be exploited. It’s exactly the same here. Exactly. I’ve seen people on both sides being complete morons over the last couple of weeks, and say some very stupid things. And people who are supposed to be on the same side as me have been utter gobshites in reaction to the awful news of a murder of an MP.

Farage on the radio AGAIN spouting his insane ‘flat earth’ dogma about immigration. You can’t get a council house because successive governments have sold them off and built too few replacements, you can’t get your kids into the school of choice because there are not enough schools for a growing population and again, no investment for decades in anything but the private sector – you can’t get a doctors appointment and the NHS is struggling because we all eat too much, drink too much, smoke too much and live too long. Stop blaming people from ‘outside’ and start taking responsibility. Yes, I want to take my country back from bigots, profiteers and conmen like Farage, Johnson and Gove.

My father was an immigrant, not just here – but in several European countries where he lived and worked through his 20s and early 30s until he met my mum in England. He was originally from Spain so he saw Europe, not just through the lens of the post-war period – but also as a child during the Spanish Civil War, something he didn’t ever want to talk about. He particularly liked Switzerland. He worked in all those countries and paid his taxes – sometimes doing proper jobs, sometimes just doing the stuff that keeps the wheels turning. Because of him, as children we were excited about the outside world and had no fear of it.

Antony Mair, Hastings Resident

Since the beginning of the referendum campaign, I have not wavered in my belief that we should stay in the EU.  Not because it is perfect, by any means, but because at a time of geopolitical uncertainty and global financial instability it would be the utmost folly to abandon our main trading partners and the strength that is found through nations working together.

This belief has been strengthened by the conduct of the Brexit advocates during the referendum, who have peddled lies and half-truths and appealed to voters’ basest xenophobic instincts, while at the same time offering simplistic solutions to complex problems. The removal of freedom of movement is not going to result in higher wages – it is going to cause a crisis in the NHS and care homes, not to mention seasonal trades such as fruit-picking. New trade agreements are going to take years to conclude, leaving our export market at risk at a time when we have a serious balance of payments issue.

Last but not least, the prospect of having Boris Johnson as prime minister and Michael Gove as his deputy is as frightening as that of Donald Trump becoming president of the United States.

How the government on opposing sides will unite after all this nastiness, who knows. But we will know the result early on the morning of Friday, June 24.

Posted 13:37 Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 In: Politics

Also in: Politics

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT