I will be voting remain on Thursday. It was always my intent, but the last few weeks have seen a change from gut reaction to a reasoned choice. There is no doubt that the bureaucracy that goes with the EU, the waste of money in the administration and the occasional illogical moves (eg against GM food) are its bad points. But these problems already exist within the UK bureaucracy, itís just that the EU is bigger, and so is the administration. I regard the EU as unwieldy, but not undemocratic. We elect MEPs every five years and if they donít do their jobs properly, we can remove them. But we donít watch what they do and we often elect less than suitable candidates. There is the reasonable question regarding the loss of sovereignty, but the UK still creates and administers its own laws and, more to the point, often embellishes EU law beyond its original purpose (eg ďthe cascadeĒ as it applies to veterinary medicines). Itís worth considering that those employed in administration in the UK will not be quick to remove these laws, should we leave. And, as the UK is a civilised country, which legislation, present in all the other EU countries would we remove?
But all this aside, there is little doubt that people behave better and function better when they co-operate; when they see similarities quicker than they see differences; when they realise that debate and compromise are better than opposition and conflict. In contrast, when peopleís policies and actions are based on arbitrary notions of who they are, based on an accident of birth; then prejudice and resentment are not far away.
Any human, anywhere in the world, should have the freedom to say what they think, to live where they want, to travel where they like, to work where they can. Vets have promoted ďfive freedoms,Ē for many years as a baseline for animal welfare, one of which is the freedom to express normal behaviour. Iíd contend that humans have as much right to express normal behaviour where and when they want. The EU may indeed have its faults, but it has facilitated exactly this behaviour between its member states for nearly 70 years. If the rest of the world followed our example, so that barriers were part of history lessons, that would be a great legacy.