As an internationalist, I'm voting to stay in the EU

时间:2019-09-08  作者:计岩就  来源:威尼斯人网址  浏览:2次  评论:22条

The British public faces daily waves of claim and over the UK’s membership of the EU, but many are hard to substantiate. My hunch is that leaving the EU will cause significant economic turmoil in the short term, but economic predictions into the medium term are always speculative.

However, there is one criterion against which Brexiters and Remainers agree the decision should be made: what is best for Britain.

This Britain-centred perspective appears so obviously correct that it is hardly ever challenged. To suggest that British voters should weigh up the pros and cons of EU membership according to what is best for the world would be treated as absurd by most media.

But internationalists care as much about people in other countries as people in their own, and judge a policy or action not just on how it affects their own country, but on its . And while all peoples and countries should adopt an internationalist perspective, the greatest responsibility is on wealthy countries to do so.

So this is precisely the perspective any internationalist voter should have in mind.

In this referendum, what outcome would best serve not just Britain, and not just , but the world?

While you might assume that an internationalist would enlist into the remain camp, there are fairly strong reasons to vote out. Regional collaboration, especially in a relatively wealthy part of the world, may run counter to what is best for marginalised communities internationally.

For instance, freedom of movement within Europe has increased the number of EU immigrants to Britain, with a direct impact on the chances of people from much poorer countries to migrate to the UK. And a to countries that are relatively poorer in European terms but still very wealthy in global terms may be in competition with the need to increase international public spending to deliver the .

However, neither argument is ultimately compelling – there is no reason to believe that money saved from spending on Europe will be redirected to poorer countries, nor that the broad historical trends behind huge migration numbers will shift because of this decision.

And it is in those expansive terms that we should consider our vote, and why mine will be to remain.

There was a time when the world seemed to be on an inexorable path towards increased internationalism and multilateralism as an inevitable consequence of a shrinking global village, as communications and international relationships evolved and multiplied.

But that assumption has turned out to be naive – collaboration between countries seems to be under threat and its alternative, increased competition between countries, is rising.

Internationalism needs its defenders today more than ever, just as its opposite, nationalism, appears to be ever stronger in the UK and around the world.

That is why the message the EU sends to the world about the possibility of peacefully working out regional tensions, and jointly capitalising on regional opportunities, is so powerful. Conversely, the message that would be sent if the EU were to start to unravel, a real possibility in a post-Brexit scenario, would be very damaging.

In Africa, attempts at meaningful regional groupings have not been hugely successful, and the remains far off. There are many reasons for this, both economic and political, including conflict in the continent.

But attempts are constantly under way to improve regional integration. A negative sign from the EU, implying that costs of integration are greater than benefits, would damage these.

In South America, still feels like it is close to the beginning of a journey of integration, as does , the grouping of Caribbean countries, which has explicitly set out a vision of a .

And in Asia, the most developed grouping, the , wants to create an economic community, based ostensibly on the European model, by 2020.

In all regions of our world, attempts are under way by countries to work together towards ever deeper integration, both economically and politically. These processes are fraught and complex, but they are critical for development and poverty reduction. There is no bigger barrier to development than conflict, and the investment in collaboration between countries is a crucial counterweight to the inevitable competition that follows the logic of an ever more powerful global marketplace.

This is the bigger picture that was in the minds of the founders of the EU. To vote to undermine this imperfect but important process would not only let Europe down, but also the many countries that seek to follow its lead.