We’ve already seen evidence of what happens if you allow the Great British Public to vote on anything important, with the RRS Sir David Attenborough saga. (Click here for an article taking itself waaaaaay too seriously)

How many spoiled papers are going to be for "Votey McVoteface"? I feel an FOI Request coming on!

So why are we even voting on one of the most politically destabilising issues of our time?  Both sides have made good points and bad, and some downright hilarious ones too.  But if we are to believe the Remain campaign (and our own Prime Minister), then leaving the EU is a terrible idea.  And this question has been put to a population that cares more about a cake contest than who will run the country for the next four years.  Even if you’re politically opposed to the EU and would like the UK to be “independent”, it makes no sense to vote “out”, because we’d still have to obey EU laws and pay the fees, but we’d have no say on those laws.  So we’d be literally choosing taxation with no representation – unless the UK goes totally renegade (and who knows what would happen with This Guy in charge).

But I have heard so many “Brexit” voices, all believing the same untruths, ignoring the facts and complex details of how the EU actually works (who wants to listen to the workings of the Council of the EU, when the Daily Mail’s going on about straight bananas and bent cucumbers?), that I’m scared it’s a genuine possibility, nay, probability.

So, you’ve probably guessed that I, like a lot of other EU scientists, want to remain in the EU. On a purely selfish level, I want to keep my EU citizenship, and I may have to go live abroad and become a citizen of somewhere else if we vote to leave. Mind you, if we become a miniature version of the Empire, with our own tin-pot Trump as leader, it might not be worth staying anyway.

I love to discuss this issue with people I know, both pro- and anti-EU types, but I know that it’s very unlikely that I will change many people’s minds – those who have decided are fixed in their opinions, and for those who are undecided, I am just one voice in a sea of many.  Most ordinary citizens (and even those working in sectors with outcomes affected by the vote) don’t know all of the issues, and I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who can say with confidence that they know what is best for Britain (except for John Major, who is in a better position to advise than pretty much anyone else).

Either way – get out there and vote!  Whether you think the EU is about democracy or dictatorship (again, I bet that 99% of the UK population can’t define these terms), your vote matters.  Do you really want to not even make it on to the losing side, because you were sat about on the substitute’s bench?  At the very least, do your research on the issues and become more politically aware.  There’s no excuse – more information is available to us than ever before.

Take care, All.


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