The EU Referendum Asks a Grown-Up Question That Demands a Grown-Up Response

For the past few months, the Remainians have offered us free movement rights to enter and settle in their strange and wondrous land called “Europe”. It’s a mythical place, a universal safe space with a chicken in every pot, and a smile on every face.

It’s a charming fiction created by simple souls, and, were it not for the upcoming Brexit referendum, it would remain a harmless childish fantasy that we could all continue to indulge.

Now, though, is the time to put aside childish things; the decision we’ll be making on June 23 — whether to continue to be governed by fiat by an unelected, unaccountable institution in a foreign country, or return to government of, by and for the people of the UK via our Westminster — needs to be made by grown-ups.

Remainians, like children, aren’t able to distinguish between their fantasy perception of “Europe”, and its real-world counterpart, the anti-democratic (Greece, Italy, Ireland etc), economically imploding (perpetual Eurozone crisis), and corrupt (perennially un-auditable, crony-centric, duplicitous) European Union.

Many Remainians aren’t going to be able to grow up enough in the next month to be able to separate the EU wheat from the “Europe” chaff. They have wandered too deep into their “Europe” fantasy to ever escape it.

Other Remainians, however, will be able to mature sufficiently to accept that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and their fantastical “Europe” does not and never will exist. 

At some point in the next four weeks, they will shake their heads, look at distant EU Commission faces they don’t recognize, look at distant courts arbitrarily controlling local conduct, look at a distant EU Parliament populated by elected “representatives” who have neither the power nor will to actually represent them, and ask themselves: “Why do I see these people in the EU, but not in my “Europe”? 

Asking this question alone will constitute a coming-of-age that can only result in the sloughing off of their childlike faith in fairy tales, told by David Cameron, of populist, xenophobic, racist anti-“Europe” monsters at the gates, snarling and ready to rampage through their idyllic uplands.

What they will finally see is the truth: a grubby, paunchy man in a grey overcoat flourishing a bag of sweeties and asking them to get into his rusty old Volkswagen for a ride to Disneyland.

For Leave voters, there is no difference between the obscene, ravenous, fascistic EU that we will be voting to reject and the EU we see when we lift our heads and look toward Brussels.

Come June 23, we will make a grown-up choice based on the assumption that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, while Remainians will excitedly hang their stockings on the end of their beds, and then go to sleep as soon as they can, anticipating all the goodies that “Europe” will have stuffed in them by the morning.

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