Ryan from Eastbourne couldn’t vote in 2016, but his vote would have added to the Leave result. Three years later, he changed his mind and wants to reform the EU from within. He is a Remainer Now who rejects the Brexiters’ nationalism.

First published in August 2019.

While I was too young to have voted Leave in 2016, I would have voted Leave due to my feeling that the European Union was fundamentally undemocratic, and that it imposed its will on its Member States.

I also felt that the EU leaned too heavily on neo-liberal economics, and I was appalled by the EU’s treatment of Greece.

However, while I feel these things are still real, I now see that the situation is far more complicated than what I thought it was when I was 15.

Obviously, our government is itself reliant on neo-liberal economics, and all of Europe will be unless we work to fight the neo-liberal consensus the EU has been running on since the 1980s — and especially since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc.

To think that we can merely fix our problems by leaving one neo-liberal organisation when every single ministry, council and government across all of Europe is running on this framework, is foolish.

Also, while Greece was treated horribly by the EU, every single party on the left wing of the European Union — besides the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) who I have little time for, given their rampant homophobia — wants us to remain in the EU and reform it instead.

I believe that we need a Socialist Union of Europe and that the best way to get there would actually be to remain in the European Union now.

Of course, I don’t idolise the European Union as being perfect and feel that the liberal case for remaining uses many of the same assumptions that led to people voting to leave in the first place. But regardless, the best way to fight fascism, move against neo-liberal economics and towards socialist economics, and create that much-needed unity among the peoples of Europe (and the world) would be to stick with what we have got and fight to make it better.

We must reject the bourgeois nationalism of the Leavers, and fight for an internationalist, progressive, people’s Europe.🔷

By Ryan Barrett.

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com on 15 August 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)