No Brexit. Why Britain Belongs in the European Union
Europe Bottom Up-Nr.13 | 01.09.2015 I Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz I No Brexit. Why Britain Belongs in the European Union
This paper is published in the context of the Maecenata Foundation’s Europe Bottom-Up programme. The aim of this programme is to help promote the big European project through citizens’ initiatives, rather than leaving it to politicians, administrators and business leaders (see www.maecenata.eu/europa for details). As a convinced European of German and English extraction, I feel very strongly that Britain belongs in Europe, should remain a member of the Union and continue to work with the rest of us in pushing the exciting, challenging, and indeed disruptive and yet sustainable European project forward. Notwithstanding the fact I am also Vice-Chair of Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft (the Anglo-German Society), Berlin, the views presented here are entirely my own, while certainly not contending that my thoughts are all new. A few may be original; many have of course been put forward by others before me, and even if (in order to keep this paper readable) I don’t quote them verbatim or make personal reference to them, I do wish to thankfully acknowledge that many great minds, both in the UK and in the rest of Europe, are pulling their weight in the same direction and have presented very good reasons on which I have drawn why Britain belongs in Europe and not outside of it. Many people see the need for a balanced and thorough debate, and view the chance BREXIT offers as an opportunity to look into what needs to be improved. We hope all this may convince a strong majority of British citizens to vote for and not against Europe.
Most commentators, for perfectly good reasons, concentrate on the economic side of it all. To complement this train of arguments, and because this is what I have been trained to do, I would like to present some historical, cultural, societal, and geo-political thoughts. For an important reason, this seems imperative. Polls show that Euroscepticism is much more wide-spread among opinion leaders than it is among citizens in general. It is the well-educated leaders who need to be convinced. Perhaps a mix of arguments can help. …