June 23rd, 2016 – an historic day for the UK as well as the European Union. It was the day when the UK voted to leave the EU and in the process become the first member state to use a previously untouched release claim. Since this historical day, the word BREXIT has received a lot of attention. Everyone has a view. The issue is so large that it’s really hard to come down on one side as neither side’s argument is bulletproof – each one has its flaws.
In my view, leaving the EU is akin to a divorce. And no one likes a divorce. They’re messy, unpredictable and each side comes out worst off. So, why are we voluntarily choosing to partake in this one? Yes, the UK has issues with the EU, every marriage comes with issues. I hold the opinion that we need to pick up the pieces and fix what’s gone wrong, especially in this period of political unease. Just like couples attend marriage counselling, the EU needs to undergo institutional reform. Isn’t it better to try to fix something, then simply tear away from a unity that has supported us for so long?
After a turbulent beginning the to the 20th century, with two world wars and then The Cold War, something had to be done. It all started, in 1950, with six founding countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands – which together created the European Coal and Steel Community. Wars need weapons. So, the hope was that this agreement would make another world war impossible, by removing the power from national governments.
Since then, this original community has grown into what we now know as the European Union, with a further 22 countries joining. This unity has taken years and years of talks, debates and votes as well as an intricate mixture of treaties to get us to the place where we are today – a united continent, with a vision of peace. Yet, nowadays this is somewhat taken for granted.
The European Union is the mother of all mothers for our countries. It helps us in times of need, especially for countries who are facing economic difficulties. It tells us what is right and wrong, through overarching rules and regulations. It helps out those smaller nations, who struggle to prosper. What would we do without it?
I would argue that peace is the EU’s biggest achievement, especially with it winning the 2012 Nobel Peace prize. Over the years it has helped to improve so many people’s lives, among other things. The EU is the father of national human rights laws, democracy rules, as well as directives to help overcome discrimination on the basis of gender, race, age and disability. These initiatives have a direct impact on so many people’s lives and together create a stronger more respecting nation of people. Even the creation of a single market means there’s free movement of goods, people, services and capital across different countries. This promotes cultural awareness and lets each of us learn from one another.
In the current political climate isn’t it essential, more than ever, to keep the peace and not break something that has taken years to create? Do we really want to set the example that if you don’t agree with something you should up and leave? Politics is more than just slamming a door – it’s about debate, compromise and options, just like life really.