I’m IN

There’s a growing feeling in the UK that we’re about to vote ourselves out of the EU. I want it on record that I’m voting to stay.

In my last two posts I lamented the ludicrous EU tax laws that digital businesses have to comply with, so you’d think I’d be eager to leave the EU and no longer have to worry about all that.  But no. As with so much of the referendum debate, it’s pretty much unknown what will happen to VATMOSS.

Herein lies much of my frustration with the “debate”. We’re not actually voting for anything, we’ve simply been offered to vote against what we already have, and what we have is badly understood by the vast majority of us. With virtually no certainty of what the alternatives will be, voters are in quite a ridiculous situation.

If my social media feeds are anything to go by, people are voting with their hearts far more than with their heads. It’s not a real debate in there, it’s just an argument about facts, and neither side is going to sway the other with their bombardment of infographics. If someone chooses to believe horse shit like this it’s because it fits their pre-existing view. Likewise, the very existence of propaganda shouldn’t harden or narrow one’s own pre-existing views. But it does. I don’t see anyone discussing whether EEA membership might actually be good, it’s more important to vote against the xenophobes. There’s even a petition to cancel the referendum. (to protect democracy?) Perhaps from those too stupid to vote correctly?

A British election sure brings out the worst in everyone, but if you’re undecided try to think through the noise and assess the risk. If you’ve arrived at the “whatever happens, it can’t be worse” position I’d urge you to think about that sentence.

My vote is based on a pretty simple view that leaving seems far riskier than staying. I’ve not heard a good enough argument for leaving, but even if a proposed EU alternative was acceptable we don’t actually get to vote on what it will be – hence I feel Remain is the safest option by far.

We all know the EU is a bureaucratic monster, but it’s more our monster than people seem to think. Leaving means handing over years of negotiations and lawmaking to the government. We won’t get a referendum on every single law that gets changed.  Things can always be worse.

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