On the Left Foot Forward blog, Phillip Souta (director of Business for New Europe) demolishes many of the Eurosceptic myths surrounding the EU.
Souta warned that leaving the EU could jeopardise the 49 per cent of foreign direct investment stock in the UK that comes from other EU countries, as well incur significant import taxes for British goods entering the EU market. Souta also points out that the practical arrangements for life outside the EU simply haven’t been thought through.
All sound, rational arguments, which will give heart to pro-Europeans. The trouble is that most Eurosceptics aren’t moved by rational arguments one way or the other. Their hostility to the EU is essentially a gut reaction. And the EU isn’t even the focus of their ire, but merely a symbol of a deeper resentment of all that’s changed in the past fifty years and a desire to pull up the drawbridge.
Sadly, the Age of Enlightenment, despite having begun over 250 years ago, is still work in progress. Until that project is complete, pro-Europeans will need to develop an emotional appeal to complement their rational arguments. They won’t be able to win a referendum campaign unless they do.
Postscript: The need for a strong emotional case is reiterated by George Smid of Corby Liberal Democrats.