It is much easier to recognise the failings and limitations of the EU than its successes and the benefits which we have come to take for granted.
I am shocked that there are many people of my generation, whose lives and standard of living have been immeasurably improved during the years of Britain’s membership, who now wish to deny these benefits to their children and their grandchildren. No one my age in Britain can forget the dire and parlous economic state of the country in the years before we gained the benefits of membership of the world’s largest economic union - which we now propose to leave.
But the question of the UK leaving the EU is not simply about the economic implications. The EU has helped establish the longest period of peace in Europe in centuries. It has guaranteed democracy, the rule of law, civil liberties, and human rights across every member state. We should remember that this represents the spread of fundamental British values across Europe.
The problem of mass immigration is not a UK problem but one confronting every economically successful country across the world. It is a fantasy to believe that we can escape it by leaving the EU.
Never since World War II has Europe been more threatened than now, and nothing would more please those who wish to destroy our hardwon rights andvalues than for us to fracture European unity at this critical time.
Like all artists, I am aware of the importance of Britain’s role as part of European culture across the millennia. Of course every nation state in Europe has immense cultural differences, but we are all historically linked as one culture. The EU has supported and encouraged all forms of cultural activity in every individual nation and between all its members. This has been one of the EU’s many unsung achievements.
Britain needs to remain a full and active member of the European Union.