As any of you who campaigned on either side of the Scottish Referendum discovered, it is much easier to campaign on the side of change rather than for the status quo. People, certainly in this country, are willing to listen to new ideas, even if they don’t accept them. Arguing on the side of steady as she goes, our Remain or the Scuottish No, is an uphill struggle, because you are not punting a vision of something new i.e. exciting, but are rather thrown back on the defensive all the time. And it engenders negativity towards whatever the campaign for change happens to be, rather than the promotion of new ideas.
Most Out campaigners go on about making Britain great again, as in the glory days before we joined the then Common Market. But if one looks back to the early 1970s, they were not much fun. The Empire was already long gone, we had two devaluations of the pound, our exports and industries were in decline, strikes abounded, and we were stil only allowed to take £50 out of the country with us when we travelled. And if they mean further back, the 50s and 60s, (which one is surprised many can remember), those days are so long gone that they can never return.
The world has changed. The global population in 1973 was 3.96 billion, today it is almost double that at 7.12 billion. Global trade has changed, global trade blocks have changed. Transport and technologies have changed. China has arisen, the Middle East oil producers rose and may be falling. And we have changed; our industries have changed and adapted, there are nearly 9 million more of us living in the UK now than in 1973.
We are looking at a world which reflects George Orwell’ s three continents in “1984”. To survive in such a world we need to be part of the best block, the biggest, and for security in every sense, the one nearest to us. There is no going back.
So better to embrace the new world reality, and make Britain Great in Europe, and Europe great in the world.