The EU Referendum Will Determine the UK's Future

A new train station in Birmingham, England, May 17, 2016. In their desire to leave the European Union, many Britons have found an outlet for fears about immigration and terrorism. As the EU referendum approaches, the politics of identity are colliding with the economics of global trade. (Photo: Andrew Testa / The New York Times)A new train station in Birmingham, England, May 17, 2016. In their desire to leave the European Union, many Britons have found an outlet for fears about immigration and terrorism. As the EU referendum approaches, the politics of identity are colliding with the economics of global trade. (Photo: Andrew Testa / The New York Times)

Great Britain is my adopted home. I have deep affection for this nation — for its people, for its great tradition of liberalism and for its commitment to justice and human rights. For its art, literature, theatre, music and film, its long record of groundbreaking scientific discoveries, its beautiful countryside, its National Health Service … I could go on.

The European Union (EU) referendum on June 23 will be one of the most significant decisions British citizens will ever have to make. The outcome will affect how the UK is governed, national security, the economy, human rights, the environment, culture … every aspect of our lives. It will define what it means to be British and could alter this country’s relationship with the world for generations to come.

Rhetoric of the “Leave Campaign”

I watched in disbelief as some British leaders resorted to racist rhetoric in the lead-up to the referendum. Boris Johnson made a notorious comment about the EU in an interview with The Telegraph: “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically … The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.” Johnson should remember Godwin’s Law, which states that in any argument, the first person to mention the Nazis is deemed the loser. Both the leave and remain campaigns have descended to fearmongering but Johnson has arguably stooped the lowest, by comparing the EU to Nazi Germany. I say “arguably” because he has some tough competition.

We must not forget that the EU is more than an economic entity. It is a vital peacekeeping force in Europe.

A recent poster for the “leave” campaign, released on the eve of an England vs. Turkey…

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