Michael Carberry, a long term British citizen resident abroad in France, does not have the right to vote (due to the 15-year-limit) but is well-qualified to comment (see profile below) on the EU Referendum and the possibility of Brexit.
We will be sharing his reflections in three articles on Brexit in the run up to the EU referendum, to assist those still with the right to vote to make more sense of the issues underlying the current debate.
He concludes in his first article below (1. The Great Mistake) that if the British people vote to remain in the EU, the decision to hold the Referendum will have been a political folly of the first magitude, costly and devisive at home and damaging to the UK’s economy and reputation abroad.
If they vote to leave it is likely to be a much weakened and truncated UK which has to negotiate its future with the mighty EU.
British citizen Michael Carberry is a long term resident in France who does not have a vote in the upcoming EU Referendum. He finds this very frustrating given that he has been concerned with or directly involved with Britain’s place in Europe for over half a century. He first spoke in a debate about Britain’s proposed membership of the (then) European Community in 1964. As a UK diplomat in the European Community Department of the Foreign Office during the Thatcher government he coordinated aspects of Britain’s EU policy across Whitehall Departments, answered MPs letters and Parliamentary Questions on EU matters, drafted the negotiating briefs for Britain’s representatives in the Council of Ministers and European Council Meetings and himself took part in Official level meetings in Brussels. After leaving the Diplomatic Service he dealt with EU affairs for major international companies based in both the UK and France regularly visiting the Commission in Brussels and some 19 of the current EU member states as well as working with Colleagues from almost every European Country. He was also a candidate for a seat in the European Parliament.
Not having a vote has not stopped him from taking an interest in, and thinking about, the Referendum debate. This article is the first of three articles (the second and third to follow to be published on this blog in the run up to the Referendum) and which are the fruits of his reflections on the campaign so far.
These are his personal views.