We have had a great weekend, mostly dry and, today at least, warm enough to just be in a t-shirt.
I have managed to make the lawn in my back garden look reasonably well cared for and presentable, just need to find the time to weed the borders (next weekend’s job)
The reason I don’t have the time to care for my garden as well as my wife would wish is that I seem to be spending most of my weekend out campaigning for the Remain side of the Referendum Campaign although yesterday afternoon I took some time off to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Crossing Church & Centre.
While I am not a Christian, The Crossing means a lot to me as my family have been associated with it, and with the Wesley Church that preceded it. for many years. Indeed, we all were very involved in the fund raising for the new building and have been part of many of the different activities that take place in the building.
Also, the building of the new Church & Community Centre was the first major public building to go up on Worksop since we moved to the town in 1989. It has since been joined by others, the Library, two new Secondary Schools, a new Leisure Centre the Cinema and, most recently, the Bus Station but The Crossing was the first and it was good to look back and see all that happened in the building over the last decade.
As I mentioned, the Referendum campaign is taking up most of my spare time. I seem to have been out on campaign stalls or leafleting every weekend for many weeks and there will be no respite (except for a weekend visiting my in-laws in The Netherlands) until the Referendum on June 23rd.
This week we have begun to see the Brexit (those who want the UK out of the EU) campaign start to fall apart. Many of their claims have been shown to be lies or crass exaggerations and that the leaders of the different Leave groups cannot even agree amongst themselves what would happen if we do leave the EU. Some are already beginning to position themselves for life after the Referendum & still in the EU. Even the Mail on Sunday has conceded that the economic argument for Brexit has been lost.
This doesn’t mean we can let up but that we must press on and make sure we get a strong vote in favour of remaining in the EU.
Finally, as you will remember, in the last few weeks I have been writing series of short pieces on the 5 areas I posed back in February as the main themes to judge the issue of our membership, Prosperity, Opportunity, Peace, Environment & now, finally, Security.
After Climate Change, the biggest issues facing the world are international terrorism, cross border crime and, especially for us here in Europe, the growing refugee crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean. None of these crisis can be dealt with, let alone solved, by a single nation acting on its own.
We need to work closely with our neighbours and be able to trust them as we work together to try to deal with these issues. By being in the EU, and therefore in Europol, headed by Britain’s own Rob Wainwright, we can work with our colleagues across the EU to counter these threats.
Through the use of European Arrest Warrants, we can extradite suspects who flee abroad in weeks rather than the years it used to take, remember the 21/7 bomber who fled to Italy in 2005? Compare this to the years it took to take to get IRA terrorists extricated from Ireland in the 1980s & 1990s. (It is interesting to see hoe the Brexit campaign have tried to attack the scheme but, as usual, get their facts wrong).
Without this close cooperation, we could not have the UK border checks based in Calais & at the Gard de Nord station in Paris, keeping illegal migrants out of the UK.
Former chiefs of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, along with other former security chiefs, has said our security would be damaged by leaving the EU.
Without doubt, leaving the EU would weaken our national security and weaken our ability to deal with the triple threats of terrorism, international crime and people smugglers. Can we risk it?