In out, in out, shake it all about

I started writing this post last week, then had to break off as other matters intervened. It was saved in draft form, but somehow managed to publish itself. Very embarrassing, but here is the complete version.
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage poses during a media launch for an EU referendum poster in London, Britain June 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

It has been a busy week, what with one thing and another, and I can’t believe that I have written virtually nothing about the great Brexit referendum, or Doomsday or Independence Day depending on whose soundbites you’re listening to.

The problem is that, like most people, I haven’t a clue what the future might hold should we stay in the EU or go our own way.

All sorts of experts have been wheeled on by both sides – economists, scientists, industrialists, army generals, archbishops, celebrities, social policy wonks and bankers, as well politicians past and present – and the only things they can agree on is their inability to agree on anything. And no matter how eminent the person, if they advocate remain, they’re labelled as being in the pay of the Eurocrats and if they support the leave campaign, then they’re dismissed as fantasists.

With less than a week to go, and an exit vote looking more and more likely, it feels as if the whole debate has coalesced around a single issue – immigration. And you can understand that because it is self-evident if more people are coming into the country than are leaving it then that will inevitably put pressure on our infrastructure, such as housing, healthcare and education.

But the irony is that immigration and border controls are unlikely to change not one jot whether we stay in Europe or retreat into isolation. In fact, it might make matters much worse. Migrants come in different forms:

  • European nationals who come here under the free movement for workers which is a fundamental principle of the EU. It’s unlikely that we would want to put a stop to this as most bring much needed skills with them.
  • Economic migrants from outside the EU who usually arrive via other EU countries which are quite likely to chivvy them right across the Channel if we are no longer members of their club.
  • Political refugees. Are we really going to turn our backs on people who have given up everything in their own countries because they fear for their safety?

I don’t particularly like the phrase dog-whistle politics, but it seems that what we’re stuck with from Nigel Farage & Co. For sure, there will be some unsavoury individuals among the genuine migrants, but that is just as likely to happen if we vote to leave.

I’m not one to sermonise (well not too much) but I’m not going to be browbeaten by the likes of Farage and Johnson and for that reason, and many others, I’ll be voting to stay on Thursday.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

5 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 17th June 2016

    I am drawn towards “Remain” but I would like to see the “Remain” camp clearly outlining the reforms they will push for within The European Union. After all Cameroon came back with nothing – like Neville Chamberlain stepping from the plane with his worthless piece of paper in the autumn of 1938.

    I have contact with a Greek

  • Trevor Rowley 17th June 2016

    I’ll get something out of it either way as I’m not convinced that a vote to stay is necessarily any better than a vote to exit. However, I will opt to stay as I want to retain some influence in Europe and, hopefully, Call Me Dave can start to get things happening for us in Mastricht/Stuttgart/Brussels or wherever else the mop flops.

    I know nothing – I’m from Barcelona.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 20th June 2016

    What the hell is going on? Am I in a time warp? I read this blogpost last week with its odd ending – “I have contact with a Croat”. Now that incomplete opening to a sentence has disappeared but I did some hacking and discovered that the full sentence was originally this – “I have contact with a Croat woman called Zvonimira but Mrs Parrot knows nothing about her.”

    • Mr Parrot 20th June 2016

      As I tried to explain, this was a draft that inexplicably posted itself. I decided not to say more about the Croat I know, if only to protect the innocent, and concentrate on the matter in hand as it were.

  • Mrs P 21st June 2016

    Eh? Eh? Zvonimira?? Mr Parrot said he was just popping out to Morrisons. I wondered why it took him 4 days ……..


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