As linguists we are probably not unbiased about our membership of a large multi-lingual organisation such as the EU. Certainly many of our clients come from our membership of this organisation, the extended trade opportunities or the easier access for UK citizens to live and work in other EU countries.
Still, I consider myself to be a global citizen. One of over 7 billion other human-beings and one that has travelled extensively and lived overseas existing in a different culture for several years. But more than that I feel strongly that I am a member of the European Union, that I am a European citizen. I personally don’t want to just be a citizen of a small island, I feel more content, feel safer, feel more confident about my child’s future as my country is strongly aligned to a larger economic and political group. Maybe it is because I have lived overseas for so long. That I had an opportunity to see the UK through other’s eyes, that I could see how insignificant it was to be a citizen with a fixed idea of a nationality when I could simply move elsewhere and start a new life as foreigner in a foreign country and be just as happy, just as productive and just as well-liked by my foreign neighbours as I had been back in the UK.
Certainly with a large union of countries there are issues of efficiency, bureaucracy, border controls and trade legislation. However, our small parliament in London inflicts plenty of legislation on us as small business owners. I would prefer to have a more level playing field in terms of legislation and we get that from being a part of the EU and having to toe the line of EU legislation.
If on June 23 most of my fellow UK citizens vote to leave the EU, I will feel betrayed and angry. Mostly angry that we really don’t understand what we are voting for, that the majority of the electorate will probably follow the line taken by their favourite paper and that we actually have no idea of the long-term consequences for our small island nation. I will feel betrayed by the national media, by large corporations and by political leaders who have been disingenuous about their reasons to remain or leave and betrayed on a more emotional level by those around me that may have opted to leave the union which I have grown up with and which provides our country with a strong sense of identity.
So, on June 23 I will be voting to stay, for the status-quo, for waking up on the 24 June as an EU citizen. I only hope that the majority of other voters agree.