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Jun 022016
 

One of the things that winds me up about the Brexit fans is that they keep going on about leaving Europe. Which is blatantly absurd; we can leave the EU if we’re dumb enough to choose that option (you may be able to guess what side I’m on), but there is no way we can leave Europe itself.

Britain is an integral part of Europe – geographically, historically, politically, and economically. If anything this is an argument in favour of staying within the EU so we have a greater say on what happens within Europe as a whole.

Historically we have had strong trade links to the rest of Europe since well before the Roman invasion (from Europe!). The Angles and the Saxons were European migrants; many of the Celtic aristocracy from that time made their home in Brittany (Europe again).

And we had Danish raiders from Europe (sometimes called Vikings) which demonstrated that a navy would be a good idea. And Danish migrants setting up home in Yorkshire, and other places. Followed by the Normans who arrived from Europe and helped transform Old English into a new language.

Wars with the French, wars with the Spanish, wars with the Dutch, and more recently wars with the Germans. And I’ve probably skipped over a few minor wars.

Dig through the ancestry of an English person and you’ll find a European migrant.

Trying to “leave Europe” and leave Europe to do it’s own thing just won’t work. Whatever the EU does will have an effect on us whether we’re part of the EU or not; and being part of the EU allows us a voice in what happens.

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