I promised myself I would not blog about the EU and the "Hokey Kokey" debate on that boring subject of whether or not Britain should stay in it. What changed my mind is the reports about the suspects for the Paris Terrorist Attacks being able to cross national "Borders" without being picked up - followed by the problems with migrants in Greece (with particular interest in the reactions of the rest of the EU to the plight of both the migrants and the security situation in Greece.)
Every time I think about the "Schengen Agreement" three letters and a placename come into my mind. The letters are "I", "R", "A", and the placename is Roermond.
I can still remember sitting in front of the TV at the house which was lent to my Oma by some of her friends (or relations - I lost track at that point), in Zeist (some years before Zeist got requisitioned for the Lockerbie Bombing trial) watching the Dutch news when my Dad said something which alerted me to the fact something very serious had happened.
The IRA had detonated a bomb in the Dutch town of Roermond (I think it was at an Army Base) and escaped over the border into either Germany or Belgium. The unchecked border - where they could just drive through without being stopped.
As my Dad pointed out - surely, if there was a bomb explosion (or other terrorist incident) the borders would be manned and every single car crossing the border would be checked??? Apparently not even in the early days of the "Schengen Agreement".
You may find it strange that someone who identifies as a "European" by parentage wants to go back to the days before the "Schengen Agreement".
You may find it even stranger when you learn that my Mum looked into getting a British Passport but either Britain or The Netherlands refused to let her keep her Dutch passport at the same time - it was 1972 after all.
But it is not about whether or not someone can have dual nationality (even though I agree with my Dad that children with one or more parents who are not from the country the child is born in should have dual nationality as an automatic right - that would mean that I would still be dual Dutch-British nationality without having lived in The Netherlands).
It is about being certain that Criminals who decide to come to this country are stopped before they get here.
It is also about not trying to force 28 totally different countries with their own complex problems to sing from the same hymnsheet on every subject going. In fact, I am surprised there has not been a major conflict (as in war) between members of the EU between it being set up and now.
To be totally honest I have felt uncomfortable crossing between nations in the EU after the borders came down.
In fact, I wish the UK would adopt the Dutch way of keeping track of who is where in their country (as far as residents are concerned). This would mean presenting yourself at the Council of the place you move to and signing yourself in as a resident (after signing yourself out of the Council you moved from).
As it is we have no way of knowing exactly how many people are in the country or their reasons for being here, never mind knowing exactly where they are. The Electoral Roll doesn't help with that as you are not legally obliged to put your name on it immediately after you move house.
Not only would this help with prevention of terrorism but we would also have some ideas as to which parts of the UK are massively underfunded and under-resourced as far as "Public Amenities" are concerned.
Part of me wants Britain to remain in the EU if only to be in a position to cause the burocracy to implode.
I read two news stories about the EU which made me smile.
One of which was an EU Burocrat attempting to convince reporters that he was a "Civil Servant" and not a Burocrat. Not even the UK has two levels of "National" Government directly overseeing us - the EU has got the European Parliament (I wouldn't recognise my MEP if I saw them) as well as the Eurpoean Commission.
The other one was Guy Verhofstadt being "astonished" by the reception the EU deal has had in Britain. He went on in his article in the Guardian to say that even though he is Belgian (and they are into surrealism) he cannot get his head around the idea that Michael Gove (among others) doesn't think the deal is legally binding - something about that concept even being outside the boundaries of surrealism.
Britain is its own country with its own ideas about how to do things - same like The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, etc.
From where I am sitting there are too many factions in the EU for it to work properly - if it ever did. It has got far too big and clumsy to work as a single entity.
I am beginning to think the EU should quietly disband itself and go back to being an Economic Area including all the countries (with their original currencies).
As for David Cameron's assertion that "if Britain leaves the EU it will trigger the next world war" - has he not noticed that the two countries most likely to trigger that are not even in the EU??? Last time I looked neither Russia nor Turkey were members of that particular club.
However, in order for me to make my mind up properly as to whether or not Britain should leave the EU I need something which is very thin on the ground - facts.
I have heard a lot of talk from both sides of the argument but nobody has been able to provide me with any cast iron information as to what will happen if we leave and if we stay - just pie-in-the-sky stuff about what might happen.
For this reason I am leaning ever closer towards the EU exit door.
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