The Referendum: voting facts and fictions in the EU

Written by Sylvia Card on .

The dichotomy that Roger Mallett poses in his letter is a completely false one. Every claim he makes is factually wrong. He says we didn’t vote for our European Politicians.  We did and we do.
He implies that somehow WE are not part of a collective Europe and that THEY are the enemy. This is completely barmy. The European Union is a collection of nation states of which WE are one. The commissioners are appointed but laws are made by elected politicians. He refers to the EU as a dictatorship.  All the European countries, voting collectively for European laws, are democracies.
We are not “under constant jurisdiction from the EU”.  The house of commons library estimates that less than 15% of our laws have anything at all to do with Brussels. If we had co-operated more fully in the European Parliament in recent years, rather than sit on the side lines playing party political games, we may have had more influence but less than 2.6% of all votes on legislation in recent years has been opposed by the British government.  58 times in recent years we have been outvoted 2,500 times we have been on the winning side (BBC fact check)
He says if we vote to leave the EU we can” become masters of our own destiny”. This wishful fantasy is archaic and probably the most dangerous of his falsehoods. In a globalised world no country can come close to controlling its own destiny. In conflict situations we need friends, in every other situation : organised crime, terrorism, pollution,  we need co-operation. If we leave the EU we cannot depend on either.
With the referendum approaching, we are being bombarded with claims and counter claims and in a democracy people can believe what they like. However if you are trying to convince others, some serious consideration of the facts is necessary.  It is not a simple choice we are making on Thursday. The issues are vast and complicated and it is no wonder that many people are finding the decision difficult.
When the crunch comes on Thursday and people put their mark on the ballot paper I hope people will vote with their heads and dismiss all the emotional rhetoric this campaign has been plagued with.
Sylvia Card