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Tories are split on the EU but LibDems are InTogether

June 8, 2016 5:22 PM
By Cllr Tatyan Cheung

Chinese Liberal Democrat Councillor Tatyan Cheung of Cotswold District Council has this to say on whether the Chinese community should vote for UK to remain or exit from the EU:

Cllr Tatyan Cheung"The Conservative government (which includes the REMAIN and LEAVE camps) together with the British media have created a lot of fog, untruths and statistics (read lies) about the EU and Britain's membership. It does not seem meaningful to discuss IF we don't do this we can do that, when there are countless probabilities of an IF outcome, especially outcomes that occur in the future.

My message to the Chinese community in Britain to support the REMAIN campaign is, firstly, to consider the historical context and the pursuit of peace, and secondly, the origins of the Chinese community in Britain and the values we bring to British society.

Britain after the Battle of Waterloo of 1815 and during the Victorian era played a diminishing role in the European theatre in pursuit of the expansion of the British Empire and colonies in other parts of the globe. The consequence of this diminishing engagement led to imbalances within the opposing forces (countries) of Continental Europe, accumulating in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, followed by WW1 and WW2, spanning 8 decades and affected every country in Europe, with tens of millions of deaths and hundreds of millions displaced. Britain did not have a choice on not getting involved in these wars. The reality was Britain could not survive alone within a hostile Continental Europe (while this could be possible in the days of Elizabeth I, it was no longer an option with modern warfare).

Since the end of WW2, Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace for over 200 years, and this has been achieved by having institutions like the European Union, without which peace could not be imagined possible. Britain needs to be at the negotiating table to have a voice and an ear in order to shape and influence future events, and to stop history repeating itself with wars and destruction, and endless human suffering. If you want peace for yourself and your children, and your children's children, then vote REMAIN.

The main reason the Chinese community found themselves here in Britain was to seek a better way of life from their place of origin. So we were migrants seeking political stability and economic security, just like the migrants today from the Middle East. The Chinese community have worked hard and made themselves prosper and brought prosperity to the wider British society. There is no reason to doubt the new migrants of today would not do the same. Just like our fore-parents have done with their migration to places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, they have created prosperity in those places that made them what they are today. We should welcome the challenges the migrants present us and find beneficial ways to resolve them, and bring about greater prosperity to Britain. Clearly if you want prosperity, vote REMAIN.

Finally, I would like to point out that there seems to be an over emphasise of the word CONTROL, like immigration control, budget control, border control etc., that feels like taking the country back a few generations if not centuries. Backward looking and regressive policies only make us slaves of conditions our fore-parents had fought hard to abolish. Don't fall for the fear trap and believe the government can control any of these things. When did the government ever control anything anyway? Forward looking and progressive policies like dialogue, engagement and cooperation are the solutions to the complex world that we live in.

To sum up, the message to the Chinese community is that if you want peace, prosperity and progress, vote REMAIN. It would be insane to consider the alternative of war and destruction, economic stagnation and a return to the Middle Ages."