Brexit, pursued by a bear
Finally, after months of drafting and re-drafting this post, I can form it into something more than an nonintellectual babble with little articulation or purpose.
On June 23rd, I'll be voting to stay in the EU.
At first I believe this vote was merely dictated by my want of some level of security, but after a discussion yesterday, I've realised I can now support my argument, and I'm no longer in a position where I could be swayed.
A "reformed" EU
From what I've seen, a lot of people are voting to stay in the hope of a "reformed" EU. I don't know exactly what this vague term means to individual people, but I presume people are looking for a more democratic union.
I won't quote statistics here, because I believe every figure I've thus far seen on any matter relating to the referendum has been challenged somewhere else, so there would be little point in doing so. It would deduct from the point.
However, what I do know, with enough certainty to wholeheartedly believe it is a fact, is that even those on boards and with major positions in the EU don't quite understand how it all fits together. The whole concept is a shambles.
I'm not voting for a reformed EU. My vote is less of a vote to stay, and more of a vote to not leave.
With leaving the EU comes risks; it could lead to a fairer, better off, Britain - likewise, it could leave us being worse off. No one knows what will happen.
At an In/Out debate in Derby last week, Kate Godfrey spoke about how leaving the EU would bring about an internal border in Ireland - in particular, she mentioned about how this would be a step back for Ireland. I'm voting against this.
To leave the EU would make my desire to travel around Europe - how terribly cliche of me - much more difficult. I'm voting against that.
Allegedly, there would be significant job loss if we left the EU. I don't know if these figures are to be believed, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take. I'm voting against the risk.
In the aforementioned discussion yesterday, we were asked who thought of themselves as having a strong connection to the European Union. It seems odd for me to put my hand up here, from someone who's never been abroad. But somehow, for some reason, I do feel a connection to Europe; or perhaps, it's more that I feel a lack of connection to England - note, I say England, not Britain.
This might prompt the response that I am "unpatriotic", although patriotism is something that's never particularly bothered me, but I feel it's necessary to say that I feel far more patriotic asking for a Britain that has more culture than just English people.
I like the culture, the variety, the beauty of Europe, and I wouldn't want to lose that.
Although the EU referendum is obviously a political decision, for some reason I find my cultural side being persuaded more than my political side.
I don't see a "reformed EU" as anything realistic or likely to happen, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the culture and beauty of Europe on the off-chance of things being marginally better if we left.
In fact, if we do leave, I would look into moving to Europe permanently - though I hope Scotland do the sensible thing and have another independence referendum and subsequently rejoin the EU.
At least would give me a decent excuse to move to Edinburgh.