At least people in the UK are talking about the EU as the general election approaches. It’s just a shame it’s mostly in an insincere and dishonest manner. There seems to be a real lack of political courage. No politician dares to say what the real impact of a now-possible #brexit would be. Instead, they all appear to favour attacking and blaming EU migrants for everything that seems to go wrong, hoping it will grant them victory in May 2015.

This behaviour is thoughtless and not at all sensible. Or perhaps it is just cynical. But still. One should remember running for elections and claiming a political role come with responsibilities. Maybe I am being too idealistic, but I cannot see any hint of responsibility and moral honesty in the way this whole #brexit debate is being driven. Everywhere in the UK’s political landscape, whether left, right or far-right, the only obsession is #Sovereignty. The UK is absolutely legitimate as a fully independent country. Let’s not forget nobody intends to deprive the country of it. Not even the EU.

How independent and powerful would you consider British sovereignty if Britain left the EU and then had to obey and follow EU laws and regulations just to trade with its largest market, while not being able to influence those rules anymore?

I mean, all the politicians talk about the UK’s sovereignty. They seem obsessed, many saying they must take it back from the claws of Brussels and those horrendously greedy technocrats… I beg your pardon? In what terms are we talking about sovereignty? Who dares to be honest and speak the truth?

One should ask Cameron, Miliband or Farage the only real question: how sovereign will the UK be if it leaves the EU? The EU is not only the UK’s primary market and commercial partner of the UK, it is also the largest economic power in the world. Leaving the EU would not mean, of course, that the UK would cut off its relationships with its partners. But how independent and powerful would the country be, if it had to obey and follow the laws and regulations to access the EU’s single market, while not being able to influence them anymore? And how sovereign and powerful would the UK be if it was competing alone against trade giants like China, the USA, India or Brazil?

Exiting the EU would not only be an economic disaster for the UK. It would also be the proof of the moral corruption of must of its political elite and officials. It would show how desperate politicians have been to run after polls and take power without sensible reflection on their policies. This is not what the people expect of UK leaders, who could instead choose to walk in the steps of Churchill and speak the truth. The EU is far from perfect. It implies to share power with other countries. It is sometimes frustrating, but those are benevolent and they are

The EU is far from perfect. Being a member requires you to share power with other countries. This is sometimes frustrating, but these countries are our allies, our neighbours and our friends. This is more than can be said of those countries the UK would have to face on its own if it leaves the EU.


The original version of this article appeared on Thibault Boutherin’s blog All Eyes on #Politics.