I came to this country as a European citizen, but it’s as a mother of two Brits that I’m voting to remain in Europe, says Christine Murray
I arrived in London as a 24-year-old writer, the daughter of Canadian and Italian parents, with £1,500, a European passport, and the belief that this was a city where, if I worked hard enough, I could make things happen for me. I knew London would be full of creative people from all over the world doing interesting things, and I was desperate to be a part of it.
I lived in grim flatshares, worked under unrewarding conditions as an intern, and took uninspiring jobs to make a living. I wanted to become a magazine editor and, amazingly, that’s now what I am.
So my own European provenance is a factor, but not the only reason why I’m voting Remain. As the mother of two Londoners, it is another aspect of the European Referendum debate that has captured my imagination — the fact that the Union was established with the express aim of making war ‘unthinkable and materially impossible’ and under its auspices Europe has enjoyed the longest stretch of peace since 180AD.
It is nice to think that war might have been avoided anyway, but history has shown that the interlinking of the fortunes of Europe through currency, trade and policy has been the most effective brokering of a lasting peace.
What is more, the economic uncertainty that would be caused by a vote to Leave is deeply concerning for the construction industry. We not only import a tremendous quantity of European products, with a weakened pound already driving up construction prices, but the uncertainty also threatens the free movement of talent into the sector, and the level of property investment in Britain.
There are many other reasons for staying in, not least that I would rather have politicians being bellicose about the size of oranges than anything more fundamental.
To dismiss the prospect of war as a baseless fear is to ignore the lessons of history. Economic stability is better than uncertainty; the free movement of talented people is better than insularity; and bureaucracy is preferable to war.