Personal thoughts on the EU Referendum

March 23, 2016 3 Min Read

I don’t want to focus on the standard arguments of trying to renegotiate trade agreements or the possible effect on the economy or any of the other points or hypothesis that get put forward in these referendum articles or by people.
Instead, let’s look at internal concepts one of Sovereignty and the other of Tribe and how both are essential to how we view ourselves and arrive at the decisions we make.

Sovereignty and Tribe
That is how you see yourself and what is your concept of your village or world. Do you refer to yourself as Scottish, British or European?
This defines the point at which you feel your connectedness ends, and the view also affects how others are engaged in your life.
Now and over the next few weeks, we will find the term sovereignty used repeatedly, and that covers the control you and others have over you.

The illusion of Complete Sovereignty
People say they want to return to having their Sovereignty back. To help understand this concept let’s imagine the country as a person.
They would need to control over all the factors with the possible exception of the weather.
Now for this to be truly practical they would be living in a remote valley and from day to day would not interact with others unless it is to exert their will, if they were not exerting their will, they would have lost their Sovereignty.
Ok, so this model of life would mean that society would not exist, and it is far from practical. So the concept of sovereignty grew to encompass the family.
With the family or tribe groups of people began to work together for a common goal. It then expanded to encompass countries, nations and, in fact, all forms of society and government.
The point I am trying to illustrate is that for more than one person to coexist agreements have to be made that affect the individual and begin removing people’s Sovereignty, and this is done to create mutual benefits.
From this perspective, we can begin to understand why people create divisions or where our sovereignty ends at a point whether that is nationality, location, past events or social groupings.

The Tribe
The phrase “I am (insert nationality or group)” defines the point that you feel you have a connection and the obligation to get the best outcome possible.
However, you define your village or tribe it is, more importantly, defines interaction you have with sources of information and people.
Look at how a traumatic event affects you when it involve a family member, someone you know or a complete stranger?
As well how you value information given by the source it comes from, and how your natural reaction is to push initially back against information or a perceived opinion that is detrimental to your tribe.

How this affects us
We are happy to stay within a society when we feel that the benefits support is more than any of the restrictions. Over your life you can see this in the relationships, you have with people and how they change.
It is natural for us to defend the people we see close and to alienate others. Equally to look at the effect our actions and decision have on the ones close compared to disconnection with the one far away.
Why am I putting forward these points, over so-called referendum facts?
Our views are affected by the factors outlined especially during a referendum where the passions of sovereignty and tribe are used by both sides to get your vote.
We as individuals must be aware of the effect people pulling on these perceptions of our self might have and keep them in check as we review the facts and filter the for the bias it may cause in us.
We will make the better decision individually and collectively if we have facts and information without the basis and then make decisions based on how it could affect us.

So why do I support stay?
I am IN the “Stay” camp because my life and that of my family have benefited from it. Through the ability to trade in all the different member states and the free travel between its members.
I have been lucky to travel and enjoy the world and am aware of the responsibility and impact our decisions have. This has extended my tribe (the people I consider when looking at the effects).
I accept that perfect is impossible, and all society is a compromise when I gain something in one area I may also lose something in another.
At its heart humanity is supportive whether the motivation is altruistic or motivated by self-interest we work better together.
Fundamentally I also believe that nothing good has ever come from nationalism (the belief that you are better than others because of your tribe), and I think any move from the EU would strengthen nationalism in the UK.

This blog was written for DBPL and can be found