Decided ? The EU – in or out ?
I will be voting out.
People stare at me in disbelief because our elder son lives in France with his partner (who is French) and their daughter and-another-on-the-way. Our younger son lives in Holland with his Greek lady. Our daughter, at present in England, has recently met a French gent and is showing signs of moving to France.
Furthermore, we own a lot of property in France. Our income is 50% based on that property.
But I am voting out. Why ?
First and foremost France (and Holland or any other country for that matter) are not going to suddenly build a huge wall all along their coast line with “British keep out!” signs. We will continue going back and forth as usual. Many of us will not spot the difference and life will go on as before.
Even in the most unlikely event that the EU stamps its foot and says “nah!” to us, we have the whole of the rest of the world with whom we can trade. But the EU won’t refuse – we are way too valuable a customer AND we have the international language.
It is appalling that we may not trade with our own Commonwealth countries. We may not expel people who threaten us. How can that be right ?
Have you ever been to Albania ? Macedonia ? Montenegro ? Apart from tourist resorts, that is ? No ? Well, I have. I am sure they are all extremely nice people, but they have to sort out their own standards of living, their systems and their employment – and evolve, just they way we did 70 years ago. Rushing over to us is not the answer, even though they may think it is.
But mostly, Britain is an island nation. We are surrounded by water and have always been fundamentally different from the rest of Europe. Our whole approach to things is different. I have lived many years in France and four years in Spain. Our entire attitude is different.
I recall something my father said to me years ago, and I will end with that because it sums up how I feel:
“The British person,” he said, “does what he wants unless there is a law telling him he may not. But the continental people do what they want providing there is a law saying that they may.”
That crucial difference changes everything.
Catherine Broughton tells us about her years in France in “A Call from France” available from Amazon.