A new European Deal

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a supporter of the EU. In my opinion we (the UK) are just too tiny to compete on the world stage and we're only getting smaller in comparison to other nations. We have this inflated impression of how important Britain is. We're just not.

Over the last few days and weeks there have been some scary (in my opinion) reports about the new European deal and the reaction of the UK public. The anti-EU mood seems to be growing. It scares me.

It actually seems likely we will be leaving the EU. I don't want that. I can't see the sense in it. Okay I get some of the arguments. We do contribute more to the EU budget than we receive (because we are one of the richer countries) and there are a number of regulations that make some things more difficult but there are many good things about being in the EU.

But I'm not going to go on about what I think is good about being in the EU. If you are in favour of the organisation I don't need to and if you are anti-EU you're not going to listen anyway.

The biggest thing I can see for not going through with this now is uncertainty. The world is still a fragile place economics wise. There are enough risks to the UK economy why would we want to add more? Just because we (and I'm excluding myself from this) are xenophobic and hate Johnny Foreigner?

I find this whole thing really weird. You see most of the Brits I know seem to love Europe - at least when it comes to holidays. How many of us head across the channel when it comes to having fun? How many of us have gone on a stag do or a hen party over to Prague, or Amsterdam, or wherever? And in a liking for European goods (Italian fashions, German cars etc) and a recent growing addiction for Nordic Noir both in book, TV and film form and shouldn't we just admit we like Europe?

I do.

So much so I've taught myself enough French, Italian and Dutch over the years to get by on holidays. Note - I'm not claiming to be fluent in any of these but I can read order food, tickets and the like and say hello to people in their own language.

Quick tip - if you want to ask a Dutch man or woman how they the phrase is

Hoe gaat het?

Of course the pronunciation is a bit different to how a pure English speaker might expect. It's more like

hoo  Hart ut

The capital H for the second word is an indicator of how strong it should be pronounced.

Of course a native Dutch speaker might take exception to how I say it. I can only apologise to the entire Dutch nation for my attempts; just as I extend the same apology to both the French and Italians.

Anyway I'm going off topic again. I was talking about Britain's membership of the EU.

The world of 2016 is unstable. If you doubt it go take a look at what's been happening to the global stock markets over the last few weeks. They've been up and down more than a... (Fill in your own euphemism here). How do you think they are going to react if we pull out of the EU? And in case you think it doesn't matter of course it does. This is all about investment in the UK and that investment brings jobs; yours and mine.

Now I am not saying that if we leave the EU this investment will stop. I'm not saying we'll be worse off. I'm saying I don't know. Most of what I read suggests no one does. That's the uncertainty I fear.  The future is already scary enough without us adding to it.

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Wow - I just re-read this posting. I am really feeling that bleak? How come I got so serious?

Sorry about that - I'll get back to talking about my writing next time

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