Brexit

As a political stance (something I often skirt around on here), the whole UK Leaving the EU debacle is reaching a crunch point.  To pin my political colours to the mast, I am a remain voter and have been throughout the process.

Photo credit: @jboyprints Instagram

To me and my personal opinions, I cannot see the logic of voting for the exit from the European Union.  In any argument, you should always try and see the argument from both sides.   In the case of marginal topics this is not always easy;

  • the stage/week where termination in abortion moves from emotional to medical
  • the ethical case of using CRISPR Cas9 in human embryo's being born
  • the argument between the use of life imprisonment compared to the death penalty
In these arguments are complex and should be debated, caveats put in place and every approach understood or at least some time given to thinking and researching the implications.  The answer is unlikely to be straight forward and almost individualistic.

In some arguments, the weight of evidence is monumental and almost indisputable.

  • the anti-vac movement and links to autism
  • flat-Earth theory
  • climate change denial
  • the use of contraception is you want to stop kids/overpopulation

In these arguments, the evidence isn't balanced.  There is little to support one sides of the argument and overwhelming evidence supports the other side of the argument.   If the opposing, weakly supported position is heavily supported by lobby interests and little statistical evidence, then the "Bullshit" button should be being battered.  Heavily.

The EU referendum has been marred by so many "what if" statements, misleading claims, contested predictions and inside interests, the notion of a "clean vote" is murky.   On a margin result (48:52) with an ambiguous question (Remain/Leave).  It's not a clear cut argument, but worth consideration.

In any argument where you are challenging the status quo, it is difficult to argue either remain or leave.   Remain have little to argue in terms of a "don't nothing different" approach, while Leave have to balance the inspirational reasons why leave will be better without over promising.  Leave properly screwed this up.   Listening to the leave arguments then (and now) I cannot see the argument for the promised (UK) land.

As the marginal Leave win has now set into the reality of "this is what leave means," the support (the will of the people) is that the Leave option(s) are not what was voted for.  May yet again claims;

“The British people want us to get on with a deal that honours the referendum and allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted,” 

(https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-contempt/mays-government-faces-contempt-vote-over-brexit-legal-advice-idUKKBN1O31E9) 

However, the argument and statements sound more and more like an ardent smoker trying to justify there commitment to buying Phillip Morris cancer sticks - "If I can say it with enough conviction, I'll know I'm doing the right thing......."   As a member of "The British people" surely my voice and the voices of those like me need to be heard?

In contrast, public polls are showing that they don't support the position of leaving the EU

Isn't this the argument of a second question to be raised?

Case in point

If myself and Mrs Stav were buying a car, we may have a look at a couple of options.  If I said no to the Ferrari and Anna said yes, would the purchase be made?

Would we say yes in the first instance, but then negotiate the terms of the loan to buy the Ferrari, work out if we'd then be able to have access to the golf club car park and if the car would enrich our life and then ask the the question again: "should we buy this car?  Yes or No?"
  • If the deal was bad, saying No would be wise answer unless we want to be loaded with crippling interest rates, speed bumps stopping us getting access to the golf club car park and me looking like I'm having a midlife crisis.  
  • If the loan was 0%, written off in some mega deal, the golf club assured me meetings with "that person" and launched my late life racing career, then Yes would be the correct answer.
Being stupid would be to say "Yes" to the original question and then wilfully ignore all warning signs, being unprepared for the speeding tickets, struggle to get the car on the drive and then having buyers remorse while the car value depreciates.  This is my (very simplified!) view of the current Brexit positioning.

I am pro-European

Personally, my argument has (and always will be) we are better off as a connected community of European nations when there's the global issues of US/Russian relations, climate change, tariffs, changes in social structures and everything else which goes in a global community.   Going back to an isolated island is not an option.   To quote my own argument:

"Which way to vote on Thursday..........??????
My surname shows I'm the grandchild of a migrant Greek Cypriot; my family has ties to English and German ancestry to name but a few; I married a girl with French and English ancestry; have a doctorate funded by the EU; lived in Birkenhead and Liverpool that was regenerated by Objective One funding from the EU; I've worked on doctoral and postdoc projects all supported from EU FP7 funds; I've been sponsored to attend sales meetings, conferences and seminars by EU funds or EU funds via an RDA; applied for EU research funding along with other EU researches; been taught by EU and international tutors and mentors; worked and do work alongside both EU and non-EU internationals who are here because of EU working laws; had free access to travel around the EU for both business and pleasure; follow the guidance of business and academic leaders who are all pro-EU; agree with the 98% of UK scientists who say we'll be better off in the EU; agree with the whole technology sector who claim that things are better working with the EU; my kids, my wife, my parents, my gran and I have all been treated in recent years by doctors and nurses who've come here from EU countries to practice medicine in our NHS and protected by EU working laws; my bank is pro-EU; everyone I respect appears to be pro-EU; our kids school PTA is made up of parents from across the EU; I work for a global company and every day exchange emails and calls with counterparts from across the EU; I've read the reports, papers and comments which have transparent, supported and testable statistics to show me that we are better off remaining with the EU............... and that's just part how being part of the EU has affected me.
And in the other camp is a group of people who I don't have any respect or trust in telling me "I'd be better off out of the EU" without giving any evidence, support or sensible answer other than just shouting louder and louder "Arrgghhh!!! EU lot!! They're no good!! Won't do us any good!! We're better off without them!! Jobs!! MIGRANTS!!!!" louder and louder.
Tough choice eh?

As a screen grab to my argument pre-referendum:


https://www.facebook.com/alex.stavrinides/posts/10153703710773683


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