I’ve spent most of my career over the last 20 years lobbying and campaigning on things that for me fit broadly into the category of “trying to make the world a better place”. While this may sound trite, it has basically boiled down to pushing for progress in getting kids around the world a basic education; tackling the AIDS pandemic; supporting those suffering during natural disasters or conflicts; addressing climate change; and tackling the global shame of modern slavery.
Amidst all these fights I’ve been lucky to work either directly with, or in the broad slipstream of, my friend Jo Cox. And in all of these efforts I am proud to say that Britain has played a leading role. And it has done so mainly by virtue of our membership of the European Union.
By working hand in hand with our fellow EU countries Britain has had a much more powerful voice at the G7s, G20s, Global Fund Replenishment summits, and Climate summits where the world’s serious problems have been addressed over the last few years. I have seen this at first hand and time and time again. Likewise, when it comes to addressing the evil of modern slavery and human trafficking our best hope is to work with Europol and police services across Europe.
Over those 20 years the one time when we have arrogantly and anglo-saxonly ignored our European friends and responded to the dog whistle from across the pond was the one time when Britain made a profound contribution to making the world a worse place. We should have paid more heed to the words of caution from France and Germany and Brussels before invading Iraq.
If we vote to leave we will be much smaller. As other giant powers continue to emerge our global influence will recede. We will increasingly be bystanders as China, India and others continue to grow. Outside the EU our voice will be a whisper lost among the loud shouting of other nations busily shaping our world. We are so much stronger IN.
Until last week I thought it was a bit intellectually weak to argue that you should vote REMAIN because of the unpleasantness of the characters on the other side. But you should vote remain because of the unpleasantness of the characters on the other side. Because a Brexit outcome will massively strengthen Farage and his mob, even more so when the Scots leave us so that they can rejoin the EU. Indeed, a Brexit vote may even put Farage into power if these stories are true and Boris has offered Farage a job in a post-Brexit government and a seat in the Lords.
For Britain, for a better world, and for Jo please vote REMAIN.
By Olly Buston