Today, 23rd June, the UK had the opportunity to vote for whether it would like to remain or to leave the European Union. The polling stations are closing imminently and the ballot papers will soon begin to be counted.
Over the past few months, convincing arguments have been made for both remaining in and leaving the EU. I know a lot of voters have struggled with unearthing the facts at the heart of the campaigns because arguments from both sides have made everything very complicated, but I do hope that all those who had the opportunity to vote did their best to arrive at a decision and to use their democratic right today.
I voted to remain, and my argument is a really simple one. I believe optimistically and wholeheartedly in peace.
Two world wars at the beginning of the last century came out of division, intolerance and hate. The value of the EU – that I feel can’t be undermined by arguments backwards and forwards about whether we are economically better off in or out – is fundamentally a peacekeeping one. Peaceful discussion to find resolution and compromise to conflict is always better, any day of the week in our long future, than dropping bombs and killing civilians. For me, there is no question of that.
I believe in peace over war, resolution over conflict, inclusion over exclusion, tolerance over ignorance. Though it is far from perfect and needs to work to evolve, I believe in the EU.