Why I Voted #Remain in the EU Referendum

Two days ago I had a direct impact on the future of the UK and it’s stance within the European Union. In my mind, it was a simple vote, one with little hesitance or need for over-analysis. Two days ago I voted to remain a part of the European Union.

I voted for one very specific reason. Looking beyond economic policy, international regulation and free movement across member countries, the European Union is a globalised community of countries who have agreed to work together for the betterment of the continent as a whole, and in a larger sense, for the betterment of the entire planet. We trade food, clothes, coffee, alcohol… you name it, a European country somewhere will more than likely have supplied it. And sure, these trade systems will still be in place even after we have officially left the EU, I mean, we will still buy our wine from Spain, the only difference is that it’ll arrive into Britain with a sour undertone of bitter betrayal.

Picture this: You’re applying for a new job, and your closest friend tells you they’re running for the same role. The shortlist brings it down to you and your friend, competing directly for the dream job you both want. One day, the phone rings and the employer tells you that they went with someone else for the role, that they chose your friend over you. Now, when you next see your friend, your relationship will not be in tatters, you’ll still be friends, but the underlying foundation upon which binds you both together is no longer present. They’re leaving you behind. Sucky, eh?

This is Britain, ‘taking back control’. We’re doing nothing but stepping away from a community of diversity-friendly, equality-enriching nations who only benefit from being a part of it. I’m sure it is the case that Britain is held back by being in the EU, there is always reason for change, but to tie the knot and dust our hands off when the going gets tough, that to me seems cowardly. It’s as if we’re admitting to the problem but refusing to make haste in trying to change it. Together.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t come down to stock prices or the ability for the middle class to travel easily to holiday destinations, it comes down to working together as a team, as a singular unit to bring up those countries who may fall down. Deciding to leave this community is regressive. It’s a step back from all we’ve built to protect.

The worst part about all of this however, is that the people of Europe who felt that they had a chance to make something of themselves in Britain may no longer have these opportunities. I’m proud to be British because we’re a nation that everyone seems to want to join, because we’re a forward thinking country that welcomes diversity and equal opportunity. I’m proud to be British because of our multiculturalism, I feel honoured that people want to travel, live, work and contribute to our country, it makes me feel very lucky as an individual that I have these chances on my doorstep. This racially under-toned, nationalistic and stubborn move that the British people have made makes me feel, well, embarrassed more than anything. I want to say sorry to my European friends for how we’ve just acted as a country, hang my head in shame because we still, after years and years of trying, cannot get past this absurd divide that really should no longer exist in a world as globalised as ours.

Britain, get over yourself and move forward, please. If you need me, I’ll be in Canada.