EU referendum through French eyes

As the EU referendum campaign enters its final weeks, Northern Quota writers will be exploring the issues and sharing their thoughts on this hugely important vote. In the first of this series, Selma Daddi, studying International Fashion Journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University, writes from her home town of Valence in the South East of France…..

Selma Daddi: Five reasons the UK needs to stay within the EU….

As David Cameron promised while campaigning in the last General Election, the referendum to decide whether to leave or remain in Europe finally takes place on the 23rd of June.

Brexit or not, I have always believed that France and the United Kingdom were partners forever. Although most of us are not too worried about the future decision, we do need to talk. Here are five reasons why I believe you should stay with us in the Union.

1. First, we almost started together. France, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy founded the European Union in 1951, then known as the European Coal and Steel Community. Ireland, Denmark and United Kingdom joined the community in 1973, giving us only nine members at this time. Since then, the Union has evolved and grown. Indeed, today the Union encompasses twenty-eight countries. The EU has changed a lot over the years, gaining more control over our daily lives – or so say some politicians from the right-wing of the Conservatives and UKIP.

However, we are a team, and teams do not give up and quit when it does not work exactly the way you want it to. You try to sort it out, make compromises together, in order to make it work better again.

In this aspect, David Cameron had already negotiated with the European Union special treatments, and renegotiated new ones this year such as keeping sterling as the national currency, or running its own affairs. For example, Mr Cameron secured a red card system for national parliaments making it easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation. If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought (BBC News)

   2. Obviously, we do not want one member to leave. Not only does this affect all of us, but it seems like we stepping back into the past. We are not in Middle Ages anymore and nobody wants to go back to this time.

As we said, society has evolved. So did the European Union. Countries work by associations, and staying together is a strength as we can evolve together, help each other and share a lot together. Not only is it a strength for all of us, but it is also one for your country: its economy and security, even sharing vital information on threats to the safety of the international community is also important to protect each other.

Simply put: We are stronger together.

Champs de Mars, Valence, France
Champs de Mars, Valance – by Jacques FORÊT :Sequajectrof (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons


 3. Britain: the great nation of acceptance and tolerance. This is how we have always seen you. However, you seem scared today. Scared of what? Change? Immigrants? Of strangers taking your jobs? We don't know you like this and we no longer recognise you.

Britain is an inspiring country for everyone and that's probably why everybody wants to be part of it.  You spread great values to the world. By voting to leave, you show us how much you are afraid of change and that is not you, Britain.

4. You need to be prepared for a big change if you leave the European Union. I see that you are not really into change at the moment; I noticed that you like keeping your traditions.

Leaving the EU will cause a social, economic, and political upheaval. Not only will your economy have to be rethought, but everything else that comes with it. If you step back away from the Union, you will have to start everything again from the beginning, which promises a great Recession for the country. For example, The Bank of England has warned leaving the EU could cause lower growth and unemployment to rise.

5. Another good reason to remain may be minor but concerns everyone: travelling free, people as well as commerce. Obviously, I, as a French student who has spent several years studying in England, will speak about us, people travelling everywhere in Europe, having new experiences and working there.

Leaving the EU?

Leaving the EU would make things unnecessarily complicated.

For example, we may need a visa. Our generation has always known and enjoyed the benefits of free movement within the Union. Do you really want to overcomplicate the process of coming to visit France? Moreover, we have to think about all the British ex-pats settled somewhere within the European Union, and all the other Europeans working in Britain. Will it be the end of these great opportunities? Don't you enjoy the possibility to visit twenty-seven other countries without worries?

Although there are other reasons to leave the Europe from another angle, as a member of the European Union, a faithful traveller to England, and a lover of my own country, I believe we can only advance together. Leaving is not a solution.