My answers to a quiz about the EU referendum

I’ve been on the fence about the EU referendum. It’s a difficult choice, especially when you have to choose between supporting one of these:

david cameron and boris johnson

Which is like choosing whether to eat dog poo, or horse poo. Both will leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

Today took one of those quizzes that you often see linked on Facebook. I thought it might be interesting to share my opinions about each point, and you can see the decision at the end that the quiz thinks I should vote.

These are my opinions, and will likely be different to yours, because I am a totally different person. Please respect them, and don’t attack me or anything weird.

The way Europe is governed today is mainly undemocratic.

I think democracy is great, and is really the best way to go, which is why I’ve chosen this as important. It does worry me that the people governing Europe aren’t elected. But if they were, would we the average population even have enough information to elect the best ones without it turning into a popularity contest, or choosing the ones with the best name, like the farce of electing a local crime commissioner (which I spoilt my ballot because I didn’t think there was enough information to make an informed decision).

Being part of Europe has made Britain a better country.

I agree with this, although it’s entirely subjective and difficult to back up with facts. Like everyone it’s based on my own experiences of what I see, read, smell etc. Also, I was born after we joined, so its difficult to know what it was like before. But I heard there was some wars, but that was probably unrelated.

British workers benefit from European legislation strengthening our rights at work.

I think workers rights should be the same across the entire of Europe – but that’s mostly because I want a siesta like the Spanish have 😛

Britain’s judicial system is being undermined by European courts and human rights conventions.

I don’t really have any information about this one way or another. The only reason though why I didn’t say neutral is that I think a human rights convention should be shared between countries, and each country doesn’t need its own.

Cooperation with other European nations on terrorism and security makes Britain safer.

I’m all for cooperation. Definitely a good thing.

Europe helps us to deal with global issues and protect the common good.

Yep. Cooperation with other countries. Definitely a good thing. The Warhammer army I play is Tau, who have the motto “For the greater good!”, which, yeah I believe in!

Some decisions are best taken at a European level.

This is a question with some ambiguity. Yes some are, but some aren’t. Sometimes you need to make a decision that affects all countries at once, but sometimes a solution that works for one circumstance, won’t work for all. I can’t think of a good example except for when I’m writing CSS, sometimes it’s better to make a global change, affecting all in one go, and saving time, but sometimes you need to make a single hack for one specific circumstance.

We pay too much into the European budget, and don’t get enough benefit in return.

There’s been lots of misinformation spread about what we get back from our fee, so it’s difficult to tell. But it doesn’t sound like the fee really is that high when compared to other things we pay like pensions, NHS and defence. It does worry me that politicians in Brussels are getting paid way too much though, which doesn’t seem fair, but I do know you sometimes need to pay into something to get it back.

My Dad’s a farmer, and gets money from the EU, which is quite important because farming isn’t massively profitable. And I like that EU gives money to scientific research projects across different countries, which means each country isn’t having to find money to fund it’s own individual research.

My values are very different to the values on which the EU is built.

According to their website the EU’s values are respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. And I like all those things, so I disagree with that statement.

The UK should be free to decide our own policies instead of having to accept so many EU rules.

Hmm, I look at this the same way as building a website. You wouldn’t build a bespoke CMS or framework for every single website. That’s just insane. You’d use an existing framework that already works, and modify it to suit you, so that you don’t have to put too much effort into stuff that already exists. Don’t reinvent the wheel etc. I think the EU should provide the template, and prevent every country from having to duplicate work on their own laws and legal stuff, and then each country can modify it as they wish. And I don’t mean “fork” it, I mean “extend” it, so that you can receive updates 😉

Britain has significant influence within the European Union.

Yeah, I don’t think any individual country has much influence. But maybe that’s ok, we all have to play fair and equally, right?

The British way is to stay in and stand up for what we believe, instead of walking away.

No I think the British way is the blunder in, bumble around for a bit, then spend ages trying to leave, like colonial India, Iraq and Afghanistan 😛

I do agree with this, but not strongly, because I do worry that we won’t exactly be able to turn the EU into a fully democratic amazing thing, and it’ll always be a bit annoying, but I think that’s better than just taking your bat home (is that just a Yorkshire phrase or does everyone know it?).

Europe’s economy is stagnating, we should do more business with the rest of the world instead.

I’ve never heard this before! Is it true? I dunno. Surely we already do plenty of business with the rest of the world? I’ve got grapes in the fridge from Mexico, strawberries from Morocco, and last week I bought something on Amazon from China. As far as I can tell, we’re quite well connected globally.

Britain’s membership of the EU has lowered prices and increased living standards.

Literally no idea if this is true or not. And I have no idea how to find reliable information that hasn’t been manipulated by either the remain or leave zealots.

Being part of Europe has helped us protect the environment.

Oh I do agree with this one. It seems like politicians are mostly concerned about the economy, which is fine, and good. So it’s nice that someone else is putting pressure on businesses, factories etc to reduce emissions, pollution etc.

Britain should be free to chart our own course independently of the EU.
No, why would we? What does this even mean anyway? Chart a course? That’s boat terminology. We’re not sailing anywhere.

European regulations are mostly counter-productive, and tie British businesses up in red tape.
I don’t really know what regulations are tying people up tbh. But if it’s things like food preparation standards, hygiene or safety, I’m all for those! And again, that’s something that should be the same globally.

But I realise there might be some quite restrictive rules, so I’ve gone neutral on this one because I just don’t know.

Democracy is only possible nationally or locally, not at the European level.

I don’t like my answer, but yeah I think unfortunately if you asked the general population to vote for someone to represent us in a European Parliament (is that even how it works? I have no idea) they probably won’t care enough or understand, so probably will vote for the person with the funniest name or best hair.

It barely even works nationally tbh. Instead of voting for an MP to represent them (that’s what democracy is right?), people vote for their favourite party.

On balance, people’s right to move freely between the UK and Europe is a good thing.

Oh man yeah definitely. Being able to just nip to another country, or even live there if I wanted, that’s awesome! In fact it’d be nice if I didn’t even have to take my passport.

I feel being in the EU undermines British identity and culture.

Well, no. Thats stupid. If a straight person walks into a room full of gay people do they turn gay? No. If I walked into a Mosque would I turn Muslim? No. If a pig walks into a field of sheep does he turn into a sheep? No. We still are what we are.

European cooperation is important to protect the interests of our children and grandchildren.
Yeah man! Working together = good. Nobody ever says that working together is bad do they?

Our government should be able to stop so many Europeans from entering the UK.
Ahh, finally we get onto the issue of migrants! I wondered when we’d get there! This seems to be a big thing for people who want to leave. But this question isn’t about helping refugees from war-torn countries (which I’m ok with tbh), it’s about Europeans moving here.

I think we should be able to move wherever (as long as we fit in and learn the language etc – and I’m looking at you, Britains who moved to Spain but refuse to speak Spanish!).

Migrants from Europe are putting too much pressure on public services and welfare bills.

I’ve put I strongly disagree with this, because I think it’s an unfair question. What about the people in this country who don’t pay into the system, like old and disabled people? Aren’t they just as guilty? I don’t think you can blame just migrants.

Britain’s economy is likely to suffer significantly if we leave the EU.

Honestly no idea. Has anyone? It’s all just a complete guess. I’m sure we’ll have some initial problems, and it might be bad for a while, but we’ll probably bounce back after that. But will it be bettie than it is now? No idea. I’m staying neutral on this one.

So that’s it! Here’s the result:

72% in