Comment

Britain can help the EU to evolve and improve by staying at the heart of it

The Clash pictured in New York in 1981 (AP)

In 1982 The Clash released an album featuring the track, Should I Stay or Should I Go; “Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. An’ if I stay it will be double. So come on and let me know…”

Many people are going to have difficulties, I think, in deciding whether to vote in or out of Europe, ‘remain’ or ‘Brexit’. I remember once going on holiday to Ireland with a friend and we arrived at a small town. We wanted some lunch and there was a chap sitting on a wall in the square sucking his pipe. I went up to him and said, “We are looking for lunch. There are two hotels here. Could you recommend one of them?” So he took his pipe out of his mouth and said, “Well, Sir, it’s like this – if you chose the one you wish you had chosen the other”. You may feel a bit like that about Europe.

Pope Francis received a prize called the Charlemagne Award just a few weeks ago and he said in his address: “What has happened to you, Europe, the mother of peoples and nations, the mother of great men and women who upheld and even sacrificed their lives for the dignity of their brothers and sisters?”

We have all got a decision to make. Europe must change and reform and will do so. The question we face is whether the best way forward for Britain is to work within Europe or outside Europe? Do we want to be part of it or do we not? I know what I think – I am British but also feel European and want to remain that way – and obviously I don’t know what you think. But whether you vote ‘in’ or ‘out’, I would hope everyone cares for Europe itself and the lovely countries that I have visited in my long life: France, Germany, Italy and Spain, and some others as well.

“Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now?” It’s up to you now. Good luck to you all – and please, please vote.