Leaving the EU would destroy Britain's post-war progress from imperial power to global partnerby Stephen Kinnock / April 21, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Brexit would not damage UK security
Nation states have been grappling with the forces of globalisation for thousands of years, and the United Kingdom is no exception. Ever since the Romans landed on our shores we have been an integral part of the international community, buffeted by the winds of commerce, military conflict and geopolitics.
With the passing of the centuries we gradually came to master the mutually reinforcing arts of warfare and empire-building, a process that ultimately gave rise to a period of global hegemony. But the defining feature of the UK’s role in the world since 1945 has been our evolution from imperial power to global partner. And we should celebrate this transformation because it has been—politically, economically and morally—the right path to have taken.
This journey has certainly been underpinned by a sense of guilt—the terrible legacies of the slave trade, the scramble for Africa and the carving up of the Middle East have provided post-1945 governments with a moral compass that helped them to navigate their way to the modern era. But another driving force has been political and economic realism. Exponential increases in the movement of goods, services, capital and people across national borders have created a world in which the lines between the domestic and the foreign have blurred to the point of being meaningless. The British people finally came to embrace this reality when they voted emphatically in favour of remaining the European Economic Community.
The 1975 referendum was the moment that the UK’s role in the world shifted on its axis. It was the moment that we grew up. It was the moment that we acknowledged that Europe was increasingly based on pooled sovereignties, economic integration and shared institutions, and that joining the club was, quite simply, the right…