Apparently, the crass term ‘Brexit’ was coined by former Labour MP Denis MacShane who got kicked out of government for fraud. I like to think his jail sentence was punishment for coming up with such an appalling tabloid portmanteau rather than the £12,900 in false accounting he was actually jailed for. Anyway, depending on where you get your news, the potential outcome of Britain leaving the EU (BREXIT!) varies from utterly cataclysmic to entirely essential. Regardless of your view I can safely say that you, like me, have no idea of the big picture. It’s like the 2015 election; can you wholeheartedly state that you understood every single part of your chosen parties election manifesto? Of course not. There was so much detail to consider, compare and contrast between all of the parties that our judgement boiled down to which party might help us the most. Case in point – I voted Liberal in 2010 because of their policy of upping the personal income tax boundaries. My decision, however small, had the knock on effect of creating the coalition government. Maybe. But I never saw that coming – I genuinely felt that the Liberals had a good chance at getting into government in 2010 based on how they appeared in the news and hearing peoples views on the internet. I was a bit stupid in hindsight but hey ho.

In a few years time, if the Conservative government still continues with a referendum (because things change), then we will get to vote on an issue that most of us really don’t know enough about. Certainly there will be a campaign from both the Yes and NO camps trying to sway you one way or the other but ultimately you will still not be completely informed of all the serious issues that will affect you; other than what you are told in the media (including social media that trusted source of opinion – sigh). We’re just too busy trying to exist or watching Game of Thrones to spend time reading up on the EU issue.

But help is at hand. In order to aid you with your decision making I want you to picture the EU as your partner. Or your ex, or your cat or whatever. Just someone you’ve had a meaningful relationship with. With every relationship there comes a point where the negatives start to really build up. Maybe your partner spends too much money, maybe they only care about themselves. Has the sex dried up (not with the cat I hope)? Are you no longer talking? Enjoying time with your friends more than with your partner? Maybe it’s time to leave?

You make your decision to stay or go from your partner based on your complete knowledge of the pros and cons. The same goes for any decision making (I hope). In the Ukraine they had a full blown riot about the whole EU question – they wanted to join that badly. The knock on result was a Russian invasion separatist movement that has destabilised the whole country, blown up a passenger jet and left thousands homeless. This all started because of the EU membership question and it seemed pretty important to them.

Photo by Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

In 2017 we will discover the true outcome of the UK’s decision making regarding the EU question (hopefully minus the whole conflict thing). Being an utter layman I have no idea of the complete positives or negatives of leaving the EU. One thing I do know is we will probably only get a 60% turnout because some of us really don’t care any more. We are pawns in a chess game that is beyond our complete comprehension. We are individually overwhelmed by the scale of the scenario and it is little wonder that many are happy to simply make their little moves around their limited landscape. Nevertheless you should at least try and make a decision on the issue because however small your vote is it does contribute to the greater issue. Is our relationship with the EU worth keeping? The blurb from the official EU website states, “The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries who trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict”. That sounds like something positive to me.

In fact many in the United Kingdom seem to be pretty keen on keeping us ‘United’ despite the vast differences between the four nations and even regional divides. Would it be the worst thing in the world to stay United with Europe where there is mutual agreement on issues? Does it really matter if things are not completely fair when European nations have successfully stoped blowing each other up for the last few decades? That’s got to be a win? As I said earlier you’ve got to weigh up the positives and negatives but as far as I can see not getting drafted into another conflict against our neighbours is pretty great in my book. But hey, I’m not in charge so vote how you want. At least we can all agree that Brexit is a utterly shite expression


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