interesting but troubling questions

I was chatting to James over the possibly of an EU referendum yesterday. Before now, I had simply dismissed the prospect of one as merely pandering to xenophobes, and a large part of me still thinks that is what the desire for one is born of, but James made the very astute point that were we to have one, all the crackpots in UKIP and the BNP would be silenced thereafter. The worst that could happen is that the UK would have to renegotiate with Europe, which, given the existing treaty is about forty years old, might not be such a bad thing. I am, of course, pro-Europe; I see it as an example of humanity working together, breaking down arbitrary national barriers, which must happen if we are to survive as a species. Yet the question is, in the current climate, can we continue to support our European neighbours? Indeed, by the same token, can we afford not to? Isolating ourselves from the union might be counterproductive in the long term, even if it is a basket case right now. A large part of me agrees with James that putting it t the vote would get all such questions out in the open, and then out of the way; but then, perhaps a further question is can we afford such a distraction right now? And what if the short-sightedness of the xenophobes prevails, and we end up isolated? A no vote would make ukip irrelevant, but a yes vote would give goits like Nigel Farage more credibility than they ever deserved I find myself pondering such issues; like the killing of Gadaffi and the news from Dale Farm, I am troubled by affairs I don’t feel I have been told enough about. It seems to me that all three raise questions that I don’t know the answers to.

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